Saturday, February 18, 2017
Dressed as beloved Peanuts character Lucy outside the General Assembly Real Men's Room, Phil Berger yanks up the ball on HB2 yet again
If you loved those problems where two trains left different cities at the same time, at different speeds, and had to figure out which one got to Muncie, Indiana first, you'll love the debate over HB2 as its first anniversary gets set to expose itself.
State senate boss Phil Berger, the snake from Eden, NC, said the new governor, Democrat Roy Cooper, had to be the one to propose any compromise plan to change the Republicans' beloved round-up-the-usual-penises-law, now so embedded in the American psyche that it was a Jeopardy question last week.
So the Governor proposed one: repeal of Session Law 2016-99 (that's where Berger parked his repeal of the right to sue for wrongful termination in state courts as part of making Granny and Little Neveah feel safe peeing at the courthouse when they have to go for the next hearing for Neveah's babydaddy, Furbus); and Session Law 2016-3.
The latter is where you go to read about how Urinary Security is advanced by capping the entire state's minimum wage, barring cities and counties from treating their residents any better under law than the drunkest bubba in Fuquay-Varina would after a losing streak on the scratch tickets; and banning local government from requiring contractors not to discriminate against people they think might be LGBT (they could be trying to get those construction jobs away real Tar Heels so they can get in there and memorize the blueprints for future public restrooms, dontcha know).
Oh, and SL 2016-3 is also where the General Assembly declares
"the practice of denying employment opportunity and discriminating in the terms of employment foments domestic strife and unrest, deprives the State of the fullest utilization of its capacities for advancement and development, and substantially and adversely affects the interests of employees, employers, and the public in general.
"The General Assembly declares that the regulation of discriminatory practices in employment is properly an issue of general, statewide concern..."
Which is why, with all those bad things coming from discrimination, the Republicans chose to write LGBT citizens out of protection from them.
After all, with so much of the population off limits, you gotta have *somebody* you can beat up, or throw out, just on general principles. I mean, Jesus, because Jesus!
So the Governor sent over his compromise: repeal HB2, pile new penalties on top of existing ones for people acting out in bathrooms (this could be an exploding cigar for Berger, since virtually all such reported bathroom violence is on people Bergervoters think might be a man in a dress); and 30 days notice to the public if local government wants to protect its locals from getting a Number 6 worked on them* so the North Carolina Values Coalition can gin up another instant special session to block it.
And like a good compromise, both sides of the HB2 standoff denounced parts of it.
Passed, the law would put us as a state back where we were before HB2. Mind, we're 99.82761% of the way there already, after Berger crammed HB2 through last March and then got ED failing to repeal- with 3/5 majorities in both houses, how limp is that?- it in his special session last December.
Now, Berger says, that's not enough. We can't do anything, he wheezes, until we know if the governor wants men dressing up as women to terrorize Granny and Little Neveah at the Coliseum when Neveah's babydaddy Furbus gets out and drives them all to Greensboro for a Saturday at the gun show.
Berger is obsessed by men's junk. The start of every session, after all, he and his poodle, House Speaker Tim Moore, collects them from all the Republican legislators and lock them in a box, storing them in the closet where they keep the Rainy Day Fund and the hurricane relief piggy bank. Berger has to be the first to know if there's any junior members with senior equipage, lest his alphamaleness be impugned.
Berger refuses to reissue all the shriveled willies even for a day, for a conscience vote on repeal. If he wanted a repeal, he'd have a repeal. It's like the old "how many shrinks does it take to change a lightbulb joke": a simple majority, but they have to really want to change it.'
The fact is, Berger likes HB2, and so do his members. They don't care if the state's cities take the hits financially. It'll make it all the sweeter the next time their backward-looking, declining-population counties come to Raleigh for another siphon off Charlotte's sales tax income if Charlotte's pie is that much smaller for losing the NCAA for seven years.
As Berger told WBTV's Mark Garrison this week, "Some people are concerned about the sports events, but we're not gonna have colleges and ath-uh-letes dictatin' public policy in this state."
As ex-Governor McCrory's finally-pried-loose-by-court-order HB2 papers show, LGBT animus is the icing on the legislative cake voters keep mixing gerrymandering and voter suppression to confect for Berger as tribute every two years. And when Furbus complains he has hit the minimum wage ceiling at Hardee's, it's not HB2, or even Andy Pudzer's raging robots: it's the damn Mexicans.
Just keep the old people focused on hairy men in Ivanka Trump frocks. They're marked way down at Dollar General this season. Lewd but stylish: that's the watchword for the 2017 session in Raleigh.
*You remember, in Blazing Saddles, surely:
Taggart: I got it! I got it!
Hedley Lamarr: You do?
Taggart: We'll work up a Number 6 on 'em.
Hedley Lamarr: [frowns] "Number 6"? I'm afraid I'm not familiar with that one.
Taggart: Well, that's where we go a-ridin' into town, a-whompin' and a-whumpin' every livin' thing that moves within an inch of its life. Except the women folks, of course.
Hedley Lamarr: You spare the women?
Taggart: Naw, we rape the shit out of them at the Number Six Dance later on.
Hedley Lamarr: Marvelous!