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See what happens when you let people vote?


North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory may have finally, grudgingly conceded the election he lost over a month ago to Democrat Roy Cooper, but that doesn't mean the Republican-controlled state legislature has to accept the outcome of the election, too. In a special session that was ostensibly called to help the state deal with damage from Hurricane Matthew, the General Assembly has been going nuts with a bunch of bills aimed at removing as much power as possible from the new governor, who, did we mention is not even a Republican? Look, they have to do it. They were all elected to do the will of the people, and if the people were dumb enough to elect a Democratic governor, then clearly the people need to be straightened out. Presumably, once the people come to their senses and elect another Republican governor, the General Assembly will put everything back like it was.

After passing a quick bill to provide $200 million in hurricane relief Tuesday, the legislature could have declared their mission accomplished and gone home, but instead, they decided to whittle back the governor's ability to appoint election boards and to appoint trustees of the University of North Carolina, requiring state Senate confirmation for virtually all the new governor's cabinet members, and reducing the number of state staffers the governor can appoint without confirmation from 1500 to just 300. Why? Because they're the majority, and the new governor better not forget it.

You'd be forgiven for thinking North Carolina Republicans don't know the first thing about democracy, or they know all about it and are deathly afraid of it.

North Carolina Democratic leaders are getting all sour grapes about the new measures, which if signed into law by McCrory in the lame duck special session, would keep Cooper from having the full range of powers governors of the state have traditionally had.

“This is an unprecedented, shameful and cowardly power grab from the Republicans,’’ said Jamal Little, a spokesman for the state’s Democratic Party. “After losing the governor’s office, the G.O.P.-controlled General Assembly is attempting to hold on to power that voters took away from them.”

Silly Democrats, that's the whole point! A top Republican in the House, David Lewis, clarified that it's not so much a power grab as a grab for power, explaining Republicans simply wish "to establish that we are going to continue to be a relevant party in governing the state."

The Election Boards measure is especially cute: under the old system, the state's 100 county election boards consisted of two members of the governor's party and one of the opposing party, an arrangement that was very convenient for McCrory when the federal government threw out the state's horrible voter-suppression law. The county boards took up the slack by making voting more difficult for people who might vote for Democrats, especially blacks. The new bill has suddenly discovered the principle of equality, requiring four members: two Democrats and two Republicans. Tie votes, we assume, will be settled by duels or barefoot wrasslin'.

North Carolina voters also elected Mike Morgan, a Democrat, to the state Supreme Court in November, giving Democrats the majority on that body, and there have been rumors that the General Assembly might attempt to pack the court by adding two new seats, both of which would be filled by McCrory before he leaves office. Republicans have strongly denied that they were considering any such thing, perish the thought, although at least two conservative groups were pushing the idea. State GOP Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse issued an angry letter Tuesday blaming the media and state Democrats for the rumors, saying he was

“embarrassed by how the press fell hook, line and sinker for a court expansion crisis that was speculated by Democrats, rumored by Democrats, and fed by Democrats.”

“Some of you did not get this wrong,” he wrote. “But many of you did, by engaging in rumor-filled propaganda with no concrete or real reporting, and a ridiculous standard that no matter how we tried to refute this, it was never enough.”

Likely translation: We'd have gotten away with it if it weren't for those meddling reporters. Woodhouse went on to make some very funny jokes about other things state Republicans aren't going to do, too:

“We are not going to shut down the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as punishment for their crazy liberal faculty,” he said. “We are not going to make voter fraud a capital offense … yet.”

In a Tweet Wednesday, Democratic state Sen. Jeff Jackson said he wasn't too impressed by Woodhouse's finally coming out and promising not to pack the court:

“You can’t criticize people for believing something that you stubbornly refuse to deny – especially when there’s a certain history.” Jackson said.

Just to be on the safe side, though, Republicans did introduce a bill to require Supreme Court candidates' party affiliations be listed on ballots, since some people believe Morgan might have won because voters thought he was a Republican. We are not making this up.

Looks like North Carolina's going to continue to be loads of fun to report on in 2017, even if the state Assembly is somehow blocked from abolishing voting by any party whose name contains the letters "ocrat."

[NYT / News & Observer / News & Observer / Atlantic]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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Once upon a time... about ten years ago, a group of entirely ridiculous men burst onto the scene wearing stupid hats and telling men that wearing stupid hats and telling men that walking up to women in bars and insulting ("negging") them would get them laid. This did not last long, as women also had televisions and computers and were completely aware of these tricks as well, so when some ass came up to us in a bar and said "Hey, nice nails, are they real?" we would laugh and laugh and loudly announce "Oh my god, this guy just tried to neg me! Can you believe that shit? HEY EVERYONE, THIS GUY JUST TRIED TO NEG ME!" and then refer to him as "Mystery" the whole night.

Most of the men who tried that shit only did so a few times before realizing that it wasn't going to work, and thus moved on to other things. Perhaps things that did not involve furry hats and coming off as a huge creep. We may never know, because I would assume that those who tried it are now extremely embarrassed and would never, ever admit to this to us.

Still, there were a few men willing to eat that shit up, as well as some grifters willing to take advantage of that. Said grifters tended to be extremely misogynistic and seemed more like they were teaching men how to be as despised by women as they were than teaching them how to actually be liked by women.

Some of them, like Roosh V, a creepy weirdo who actually does live in his mom's basement, actively encouraged men to rape women who were intoxicated to the point of being obviously unable to consent.

However, even that branch of the PUA tree is wilting away. Many "self-help" style PUA forums like Nextasf and RSDnation are shutting down or have already shut down. In March, Chateau Heartiste, a batshit crazy PUA turned White Nationalist/Alt-Right blog was shut down by Wordpress. This week, rape advocate Roosh V (whom you may recall once called yours truly a "Wonkette typist/clown face, would not bang") announced that he was renouncing his PUA ways and devoting himself to Jesus. He explained to the forum he manages that he would no longer be allowing anyone to discuss premarital "fornication."

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'Baby Geniuses' star Jon Voight took to Twitter early this morning to proclaim his undying love for Donald Trump, probably because there is no one left in his life who will listen to him talk about this, or anything else, in person. In this video rant, Voight encouraged members of the Republican Party, whom he apparently thinks are the only real citizens of the United States, to stand by Donald Trump and "acknowledge the truth" that he is the best President since Abraham Lincoln.


Part ONE:

People of the Republican Party, I know you will agree with me when I say our president has our utmost respect and our love. This job is not easy. For he's battling the left and their absurd words of destruction. I've said this once and I'll say this again. That our nation has been built on the solid ground from our forefathers, and there is a moral code of duty that has been passed on from President Lincoln. I'm here today to acknowledge the truth, and I'm here today to tell you my fellow Americans that our country…

Oh no, not our absurd words of destruction!

Part DEUX:

is stronger, safer, and with more jobs because our President has made his every move correct. Don't be fooled by the political left, because we are the people of this nation that is witnessing triumph. So let us stand with our president. Let us stand up for this truth, that President Trump is the greatest president since President Lincoln.

Does Jon Voight not know there have been... other presidents? Can he name them? Because really, it does not sound like it. Does he also not know that a very big chunk of the Republican Party actually does not care very much for Abraham Lincoln? Namely those defenders of Confederate statues that Trump called "very fine people?" Also, did he intentionally diss their beloved Ronald Reagan?

Who can know? Who can even tell what he is trying to say or why he is trying to say it. He doesn't appear to have tweeted much since 2016, so I'm guessing whoever's job it was to keep him from tanking his career quit. Either that... or after filming the seventh season of Ray Donovan, he found out it's going to be canceled or his character is getting killed off or something and he is now free to be a jackass? I don't know, I haven't watched the show, although my parents are very into it and mad that I haven't watched it. Literally all I know about it is that it has something to do with Boston, because they keep mentioning that to me like it's a selling point.

It seems useless at this point to note that the people who scream their faces off about how bad it is for Hollywood celebs to support liberal causes, and how they should keep their politics to themselves, etc. etc. make a way bigger deal than normal people do whenever a Big Time Hollywood Celebrity like Jon Voight or, uh, Scott Baio, supports their cause. Mostly because they're the only ones who have elected a reality TV star and the star of Bedtime for Bonzo (who by the way, also once practically ruined a perfectly good Bette Davis movie with his bad acting. Which is not to say that Dark Victory is not fantastic and probably the best thing to watch if you want to sob your face off, but he was very bad in it.) to run the country.

But we might as well do that anyway, because it actually never stops being funny.

[Jon Voight Twitter]

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