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Rataplan 
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Re: “Will Donald Trump’s Collapse Drag Down These Five N.C. Republicans?

I know it's a little late, but to note the Indy's crystal-ball gazers and analyzers of Tar Heel state politics weren't only fooled (as were 99% of pollsters) re: 2016 national election results after prematurely handing the U.S. presidency to the Wicked Witch of the North, but they similarly were of touch with ordinary, middle-class America in this state. Thus Mssr. Blest's can take comfort in knowing his analysis of NC races was not singular inaccurate (the lesson, I suppose, is to not give credence to cocktail party jokes among fellow travelers as gospel). Unfortunately for a lot of people, the devil's still in the details.

To wit:

(1) Blest correctly predicted 1 of 5 races above, the Cynthia Ball (D) N.C. Senate victory over incumbent Gary Pendleton in District 49. Even in the world of baseball, a Mendoza line (.200) hitter stands to be released soon, unless he has power, speed and an outstanding arm.

Otherwise,

(2) Repubs Tamara Barringer and Chad Barefoot won in Districts 17 and 18, respectively, as did Chris Malone (R) in the D35 House race;

(3) Incumbent Richard Burr (R) rolled over Deborah Ross (D) in the U.S. Senate competition, regardless of her ads detailing Burr's $$ deals. When Ross couldn't deny Burr's ads charging she had been an ACLU lawyer who fought mandatory sentences for rapists, promoted gun control and defended flag-burners, she was swept off the cliff. (A parochial observation: flag-burning may be protected by the Supreme Court as political expression, but it's like spitting in the face of families who have grieved for sons and daughters who gave their lives to protect freedom and stand against dictatorships around the world. No candidate can bring that kind of rubber knife to a gun fight and expect to survive).

Some more interesting post-election facts:

(1) If Pat McCrory wins a recount, NC will be one of 23 tri-fecta states in the US (governor, senate, house controlled by Republican Party).
(2) If McCrory wins, the Dems will have 6 trifecta states.
(3) If McCrory loses, the Repubs will have 22 trifecta states.
(4) In the NC House, the count is 74 Repubs and 45 Dems. The Dems picked up 1 seat in the House while the Repubs remained at 74.
(5) Dems had 31 election races in the NC House in 2016 with 0 (zero) opponents. Repubs had 29 such races.
(6) Republican newcomers in the NC House -- Mike Clampett (D119) and Cody Hensen (113) defeated incumbents Joe Queen (D119) and Maureen Copelo (113). Democrat Mary Belk (D88) and Cynthia Ball (D 49) defeated Repub incumbents Rob Bryan (D88) and Gary Pendleton (D49).
(7) House newcomer Larry Strickland (R, D28) def. newcomer Pat Oliver (D).
(8) In the NC Senate, Danny Earl Britt (R) def. incumbent Jane Smith (D). Smith was the only NC Senate incumbent to lose in November.
(9) In the NC Senate, the count is 34 Republicans and 16 Democrats.

In the face of another overwhelming state election defeat -- with the exception of the unsettled NC governor's outcome -- Dems had to do SOMETHING. So they have turned, once again, to their only friendly bulwark -- the federal courts, specially the U.S. Court of Appeals of the 4th Circuit where three liberal judges -- Judge Diana Motz, a Bill Clinton appointee; Judge James A. Wynn Jr., a Barack Obama appointee; and Judge Henry F. Floyd, an Obama appointee -- ruled in 2016 the redrawn (mandated by NC law as a General Assembly duty) electoral districts were declared unconstitutional and the voter I.D. requirement of the legislature violated civil rights of minority groups. This was announced three weeks after the Nov. election results in which Dems declare no voter fraud occurred -- which should be a puzzlement to them and other liberals.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Rataplan on 11/30/2016 at 11:35 AM

Re: “Federal Judges Strike Down North Carolina’s Voting Law, Say It Has “Discriminatory Intent”

A list includes 24 privileges attached to a photo I.D. They include:

1-purchase alcoholic drinks;
2-purchase cigarettes;
3-opening a bank account;
4-apply for food stamps;
5-apply for welfare'
6-apply for Medicaid/Social Security;
7-apply for a job or unemployment benefits;
8-rent/buy a house or apply for a mortgage;
9-Drive, buy, rent an automobile;
10-board an airplane;
11-get married;
12-purchase a firearm;
13-adopt a pet;
14-rent a hotel room;
15-apply for a hunting license;
16-apply for a fishing license;
17-purchase a cell phone;
18-visit a casino
19-purchase a doctor's prescription;
20-hold a rally or protest;
21-donate blood;
22-buy and 'M'-rated video game
23-purchase nail polish at CVS Pharmacies;
24-purchase certain cold medicines.

Bet you didn't know a majority of black voting-age American citizens did not have photo I.D.s to do at least one of these things and therefore couldn't present photo I.D.s in order to vote....and that a federal judge, Diana Gribbon Motz, appointed by Bill Clinton, could strike down a law endorsed by the N.C. legislature to ensure honest election results. And that, ergo, the reverse must be true, a Democrat US President made honest elections more difficult to certify. I'm more outraged by the personal privations of so many black Americans because they've had no IDs to buy cigarettes, apply for food stamps and obtain welfare, etc. I believe the liberal media and Democrat Party should stand up because these people are so poor and haven't had the opportunity legally to use a photo ID so they could vote.

I also would like to know an example of the "surgical precision" in a photo ID used to disenfranchise black voters since there are at least 24 ways for anyone of legal age in NC to obtain a photo ID

2 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Rataplan on 08/03/2016 at 1:51 PM
Posted by Rataplan on 09/10/2014 at 12:53 PM

Re: “The Triangle celebrates as Virginia court issues a blow to Amendment One

The GLBT crowd wants to have the legal right to marry....go for it ... why should heteros be the only ones to suffer? Little problem though: A1 was the result of a popular vote encoded into law by legislators after the due process of an open election by enfranchised voters. Does not the question of separation of powers come into play when unelected, appointed federal judges override citizens' votes and legislative sanctions? In our system of government, can solo judges LEGALLY trump the will of hundreds of thousands (millions?) of voters? Is granting such overwhelming power (judges, of course, are more easily controlled because judicial appointers -- POTUS, governors -- can select judges that obviously will have liberal or conservative bents) a first step down a slippery slope -- as in "Why have open, citizens' elections if judges are going to ultimately decide such issues"? I think not, IMHO. But jes' askin'....

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by Rataplan on 08/03/2014 at 11:14 AM

Re: “McCrory's sham unemployment claims

"If McCrory wants to generate economic growth in his own state, there's a more reliable way to do it. Accept Medicaid expansion, which would bring $9.5 billion in federal aid to North Carolina over the next three years—at no cost to state taxpayers—and create 40,000 jobs, according to a report from the White House Council of Economic Advisers entitled "Missed Opportunities: The Consequences of Decisions Not to Expand Medicaid."

I loved fairy tales when I was a child because they reinforced my episodes of magical thinking -- if something happened that I liked (or disliked) I could attribute it to my wishes (I wished my grandfather and grandmother would invite me to their farm, so when they did, I attributed it to my wish). No connection to reality, but it worked for me because I had no actual influence over the decision of my parents to allow me to visit them -- so my wishes proved powerful (in my mind). Magical thinking. Mr. Geary seems to believe that $9.5 billion in federal aid is available "at no cost to state taxpayers" because he wants that to be true. Magical thinking is most dominantly present in children between age 2 to 7 years old. During this age, children strongly believe that their personal thought has a direct effect on the rest of the world. ...it is distressing that liberals may actually believe what they perceive as reality when there's no basis for that belief. In this case, I suspect Mr. Geary does not understand that borrowed money or what we want today has to be repaid in the future -- with interest. And that if we continue to borrow -- like people who abuse credit cards or, more accurately in this case, are addicted to gambling -- but they can lose what they and taxpayers have, including our children's future. In other words, they make promises others have to keep. If that fact is ignored, it's magical, infantile thinking. But the results are anything but magical.

Posted by Rataplan on 07/23/2014 at 9:01 PM

Re: “Supreme Court rulings reinforce workplace discrimination, kneecap public-sector unions

Please, pray tell, explain how that women employees may obtain 16 of Obama's ordered/government-stamp-of-approval 20 contraceptive devices (80 percent) that ARE PROVIDED ALREADY BY HOBBY LOBBY INSURANCE, yet somehow these women's rights are trampled because they cannot go on without the four abortion pills the SCOTUS did not FORCE the privately-owned company to supply. Should we pass the collection plate/hat for any Hobby Lobbyist/Lobbynista (?) desirous of provided-by-employer-insured abortions that only can be obtained with one of the pills in question and not the 16 available from the company? Are the pills outrageously expensive? Are the HL "associates" making so little they are destitute of funds and cannot buy them for themselves? Are they engaging in unprotected sex so much they are at constant risk of being impregnated and thus need a vast supply of the pills in question? Inquiring minds want to know.

0 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Rataplan on 07/07/2014 at 2:31 PM

Re: “The Rev. William Barber fights lawmakers' attempts to muzzle the Moral Monday movement

"...we're going to put a piece of tape over our mouths to show the nation what democracy would look like if Thom Tillis was in charge." Rev Barber, 2014.

Hmmm, last time I looked in 2012 and 2013, Thom Tillis was in charge of the NC House -- and nobody muzzled the Rev or his followers during that time, least of all Tillis. As Andy Griffith might've said: "Y'all were a sight!"

It seems, IMHO, the new rules of decorum in state buildings are designed to make clear what and what is not permitted and actually may help the Monday Moanin' demonstrators avoid arrests and legal charges, just to make a political statement. If they ACTUALLY want to make a political statement against the establishment and be heard inside the Legislative Building without fear of arrest, I'd suggest running for office -- or maybe backing one of their "popular" members as a candidate for House or Senate ... but, oh, .... they haven't tried to ride a tidal wave of the "people's" support. Wonder why not?

I've heard there are people who, if they can imagine something, that means it's real, to them. If they imagine something bad happening to them, I've heard that described as paranoid delusional. Ain't no psychiatrist, but I wonder if the description fits, we cannot acquit?

I think the photo of the Rev taping his own mouth shut may be an example of self restraint (maybe). Or maybe it's delusional. I dunno.

The only time I can remember a governmental official (Judge Julius Hoffman, Chicago, 1969) having court officers tape shut the mouth of a person in a state building occurred during the "Chicago Eight/Seven" trial when Black Panther Bobby Seale kept disrupting court proceedings and would not follow Hoffman's directives.

Seale, like the Rev, wanted to represent himself (after firing his lawyer) and must have thought he was a fine representative, spell-binding speaker...or something. Perhaps the maxim applies in Raleigh: "A defendant who represents himself has a fool for a client."

6 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by Rataplan on 05/21/2014 at 7:10 PM

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