A major problem with news reporting on bills in front of the legislature is that the proposed laws are often promoted by particular legislators or activists known locally, but not state-wide. NC’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, dubbed the “Parents’ Bill of Rights” by its sponsors, is a good example - both Amy Galey and Julie Page aren’t particularly prominent outside of the counties where they’ve been active. So, their statements as “concerned parents” pushing the bill can’t be viewed in the full context of their previous record.
Either the media doesn’t want to bother giving us this information or deems it irrelevant. And, time after time, the NC GOP has taken advantage of this, using lower profile spokespersons to promoting extreme measures and sometimes using the efforts as “test beds” for “rising stars” within the NC GOP leadership.
And that’s particularly important with the proposed “Don’t Say Gay”/“Parents’ Bill of Rights” law. We have two women, representing themselves as “concerned Moms”, but seemed more agitated about their own broader far-right obsessions.
Recently, the NC Senate passed it’s own version of Florida’s infamous “Don’t Say Gay” bill that would not only restrict discussion of LGBTQs in school curricula and allow parents to challenge what they perceive as “harmful” school materials, but also force teachers and school staff to “out” students that might engage in discussions about their own struggles with gender or sexuality.
While many observers - and even LGBTQ and allied organizations themselves - have focused on the damage this law would do to LGBTQ young people and portray it as a “bone” for evangelical conservatives in the GOP base, there’s a more simple reason that the leadership of the GOP is promoting this anti-LGBTQ law.
WRAL has a report out this morning that state representative Republican leaders Jason Saine and Jon Hardister have their underwear in a tangle about TikTok, calling on Governor Cooper to ban the social media app from state-owned devices, calling it a “matter of national security”. They say if Cooper doesn’t act, they move to create a law with such a ban next year.
Cooper spokesman Jordan Monaghan said the state is "constantly updating guidance to ensure cyber security and is reviewing state government use of TikTok and considering potential additional safety measures."
TikTok's media relations office didn't immediately respond to a request for comment sent through the company's website.
WRAL isn’t quite giving you all the background on this story, however.
I’m approaching retirement after living all my sixty years as a North Carolina resident.
Recently, I had a talk with a representative from the company that handles my workplace 401K account. “You’re looking great,” he said, running through the different scenarios in their online tool and giving me his opinions about possible retirement dates.
I’ve been lucky. Having steady employment for the past thirty years, putting a little aside where I can, and recent modest inheritance has put me in a place where I can look forward to a retirement on an adequate income.
Modern political campaigns have been inundated with a large number of connected dark money groups, thanks to Citizens United. A result of this proliferation of laundered money propaganda machines is that they’ve become “compartmentalized”, flooding us with campaign ads for and against candidates, with each group having its own little specialty.
A couple of weeks ago, the Koch network’s Art Pope affiliate, the John Locke Foundation, held a brainstorming session to fight Gun Store Owner Ted “I Never Met a Trump Attempted Coup I Didn’t Like” Budd’s declining poll numbers. Their internal polling was showing the race tied, with Cheri Beasley leading with seniors and college-educated voters and Budd under-performing on a generic ballot.
No, I’m not talking about that kind of basket. Get your mind out of the gutter.
If you’re on YouTube or other streaming services and live in NC, you’ve no doubt been inundated with this annoying ad from Rep. Gun Store Owner Ted “I Have My Nose So Far Up Trump’s Wazoo, I Can See Classified Documents” Budd.
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network has information on how to talk with children about mass shootings. The tips include how to start the conversation, common reactions, and how to seek help if you need it.
After stirring the pot with his condemned remarks on LGBTQs and spearheading an effort to ban books on LGBTQ and racial history topics in schools and classrooms, Lt Governor Mark Robinson has gone notably silent. While there were rumblings that GOP leaders wanted him to tone things down, the real reason Robinson might have gone incognito in recent weeks is that he has served his purpose in the current national effort by the right to stir up the base.
Many of the specific titles Robinson mentioned during his Fall Faux Outrage Tour 2021 are now being challenged by “concerned parents” around North Carolina and other parts of the country.
We’ve been in a pandemic for a full two years. Life, in some sense, seems to be returning to some sense of “normal”. People are eating at restaurants. Schools are open. People are out shopping or going to movie theaters. The economy is rebounding.
But, if you look just below the paper-thin surface, everything is far from “normal”.
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