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Monday, March 28, 2016

The Morning Roundup: It Can't Get Much Worse Than Last Week!

Posted by on Mon, Mar 28, 2016 at 8:30 AM

click to enlarge nc_legislature.jpg
Happy Monday, y'all. Here's what happened over the weekend.

1. Pat McCrory is starting to realize that everyone hates HB 2. 

The media, from our local N&O to The New York Times, have sharply rebuked the law. The N&O called it "an insult to all the people of North Carolina," while the NYT said it made us "a pioneer in bigotry." The "party of business" also continued to be roundly rebuked as even more companies came out against the "Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act", the complete sham of a bill rammed through the special session in less than twelve hours last week that installed bigotry firmly into the North Carolina General Statutes.

The NBA and the NCAA have released statements denouncing the bill, as well as both the Hurricanes and the Hornets, leaving the Panthers as the only team among the state's professional franchises who have yet to make a statement. Keep pounding, I guess.  

Governor Pat McCrory's spin machine was playing the full court press this weekend, as the same eighteen-point "fact check" via both the McCrory campaign and the administration, which the Twitter pages of North Carolina's bureaucratic departments tweeted out a link to.


Wonder who told them to do that?

Meanwhile, the ACLU, Lambda Legal, and Equality NC will formally announce today in a 10 AM press conference that they're challenging HB 2 in court. Considering that HB 2 is "in complete contravention of Supreme Court precedent," and the Supreme Court struck down a very similar law in Romer v. Evans in 1996, it seems like they have a strong case. 

2. The West is Berning

Riding a high wave of support from a bird, Senator Bernie Sanders dominated Saturday's caucuses in Washington, Hawaii, and Alaska, winning by at least 40 points in every race.

Sanders is still behind by about 270 delegates and is in no way "currently winning the Democratic primary," but he's won six of the last seven races (if you include Democrats Abroad) and he's promised to take it all the way to the convention. Although the next couple of contests in Wisconsin and Wyoming favor Sanders, the end of April—with primaries in New York (April 19), Pennsylvania (April 26), and Maryland (April 26)—is likely going to have the biggest say in whether or not Sanders can keep former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from winning the Democratic primary outright. 

But for now, this is what Sanders supporters are doing.
In case you were wondering, Clinton and Sanders have both come out strongly against HB2.


3. UNC is back in the Final Four!


North Carolina was the only number one seed to survive this weekend, as they beat sixth-seeded Notre Dame last night 88–74 in the East Regional Final to head back to the Final Four. Brice Johnson led the way with twenty-five points and twelve rebounds. They'll play number ten Syracuse (which had a brilliant come-from-behind upset of number-one-seeded Virginia last night) on April 2 in Houston.

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The other two teams in the Final Four will be a pair of number two seeds: Oklahoma, which stomped out number one Oregon, and Villanova, which defeated number one Kansas. As a long-suffering Sixers fan, I am 100 percent convinced any of these teams could beat at least one NBA team.

That's it. Here's to hoping the legislature doesn't take any more civil rights away this week.

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