The North Carolina Taliban
Mr. phony-baloney Pat McCrory, whose first order of business was to hand his staff an 11% pay raise while he sought to slash unemployment benefits for NC residents who are unemployed through no fault of their own (cheating the state out of $780 million in the process), has now come up with a bald-faced power grab that would establish a literal GOP dictatorship in the state of North Carolina. Never mind about public input or checks and balances; the repugs don't want any kind of democracy going on in their state! After all, they worked so hard to gerrymander themselves into position for this takeover - they're not wasting any time.
Their plan, in the form of SB 10 which has just passed the Senate, is a bill that would allow the Republican governor and legislature to remove current members and make their own appointments to the N.C. Utilities Commission, Coastal Resources Commission, Coastal Resources Advisory Board, Environmental Management Commission, and the North Carolina Turnpike Authority. This bill also eliminates 12 special superior court judges, changes the makeup of the state Board of Elections, and modifies the composition of the state lottery commission.
Not every commission needs new appointees after an election. Boards such as the N.C. Utilities Commission, Coastal Resources Commission, Coastal Resources Advisory Board, Environmental Management Commission, and the North Carolina Turnpike Authority have members with years of experience, which is needed for them to run efficiently. SB10 does away with all that, allowing the governor and his per minions to unilaterally install their toadies in all the important commissions and dispense with 12 Superior Court judges. (Sign a petition about this HERE).
Now here's the Taliban clincher: As Huffington Post explains, "North Carolina state representatives have introduced a bill that would "clarify" state law to specifically prohibit the baring of women's breasts. Women worried about showing too much of their "private area" should use pasties, or perhaps duct tape.
The proposed legislation, House Bill 34, would make it a Class H felony to expose "external organs of sex and of excretion, including the nipple, or any portion of the areola, of the human female breast."
Rep. Rayne Brown (R), who co-sponsored the bill, said that while it may seem frivolous and even funny, "there are communities across this state, there’s local governments across this state, and also local law enforcement for whom this issue is really not a laughing matter," according to WRAL in Raleigh, N.C."
Indeed! This is serious business! In fact, so serious that the repugs want prison terms for women who display "any portion of the human female breast". That's right - according to the AP, this sort of horrific crime will result in up to six months in prison for any "errant nipples."
In less than two months, NC has become the laughing stock of the nation (and probably Europe). Even the remaining rational repugs are ashamed of these nutballs. Mike Ghouse says that "As a Republican I strongly condemn this non-sense by fellow Republicans, let's get the hell out of being control freaks." Here, here, Mr. Mike. Can the burqas be far behind?