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Thursday, March 3, 2016

Round up the usual suspects: the thousand-word stare for March 3, 2016

Annex - Marx Brothers (Animal Crackers)_03.jpg

Early voting has begun in North Carolina. NC Governor Pat McCrory and Senator Richard Burr, both up for re-election, say they’ll happily support Donald Trump as the GOP nominee for president.

Every office except the state’s congressional delegation will be on the March 15 ballot. After the federal court of appeals struck down the state’s districting map as racial gerrymandering, Republicans met to produce a new map that moved one of the to black Congress members ninety miles from her reconfigured district. The new districts gave no racial components whatever, the plan’s author said. They are solely designed to keep 10 of 13 seats Republican in a state that voted majority D in 2012 House races. But because members need time to raise money for ads in new TV markets, the congressional primary will not be held until June 15.

Meanwhile, McCrory has hit on a new plan to get unstuck from the majorly unliked Interstate 77 toll road plan, which will cost taxpayers $650 million and give a Spanish company a fifty-year monopoly on toll revenue while barring any other traffic relief projects in the region. Mostly it irritates residents in the heavily Republican suburbs and gated Lake Norman communities of north Mecklenburg County, who use it to commute in and out of the city. The toll road company’s sister subsidiary has filed for bankruptcy with a similar Texas project.

Today in Republican Family Values, New Hampshire state rep. Kyle Tasker has been removed from the House Children and Family Law Committee after his arraignment for trying to lure teenage girls to his home via computer and for drug possession. He is noted for having dropped his concealed weapon in a legislative committee meeting in 2012 (it didn’t go off) and for Facebook posts on the lines of “"50,000 battered women and I still eat mine plain." The NHGOP has declined to make Tasker’s $250,000 bail.

Gay Republicans now realize Donald Trump is an ungrateful hoser, and they are no judges of presidents.

The son of the late politicovangelist Francis Schaeffer has a new memoir out describing what it was like growing up in the early days of the GOP’s suicide pact with the religious right, only just coming to fruition today. He also explains why evangelism is such a family affair: “I had been home-schooled,” Mr. Schaeffer told me. “North Korea and evangelical empires have the same principle of leadership: nepotism to the nth degree. You may not get the call, but you inherit the mailing list...I had no education, no qualifications, and I was groomed to do this stuff. What was I going to do? If two lines are forming, and one has a $10,000 honorarium to go to a Christian Booksellers Association conference and keynote, and the other is to consider your doubts and get out with nothing else to do, what are you going to do?”

Speaking of crooks: “Regression results suggested no significant difference in lethal violence between predominantly Catholic and Protestant countries, although Islamic countries revealed significantly lower homicide, suicide, and overall lethal violence rates than non-Islamic countries. Countries with a high level of religious heterogeneity are subject to an increased suicide rate.”

Those who think Trump will get rolled in November are forgetting The Bradley Effect.

The BBC is comparing the current crop of GOPOTUS candidates to past demigods of the party. Money quote: “And then there's Richard Nixon, who was president when the Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion across the US, Roe vs Wade, was handed down. He largely kept silent on the subsequent controversy, but recently released tapes recorded the day after the court announcement show the president saying that abortion was sometimes "necessary" - such as in the case of mixed-race children. There may not be a place on the scale for that particular view.”

To get all of March’s commemorative months out of the way in one fell swoop, I plan the following outing (International Ideas Month): The next time it rains I am going out (National Umbrella Month) for coffee (National Caffeine Awareness Month) with a friend who’s a feminist historian (Women’s History Month). We will discuss whether careless high school sports practices (National Cheerleading Safety Month) can lead to chronic illness (Multiple Sclerosis Month) and design an online scrapbook page (Craft Month) on our findings, using only free, found materials (Credit Education Month). You, too, can be au courant with the calendar.

NewsThump reports rejoicing in North Korea. Having previously advanced weapons targeting systems only to the stage of getting a rocket to hit the Pacific Ocean, the DPRK military announces it can now smack a cow in the ass with a banjo.

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