Guess Who Entered The Mortgage Business While Hoping The Housing Market Would Collapse?

 

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In 2006, our Mr. Potter Goes to Washington character wanted to be able to cash in on a crash.

“I sort of hope that happens because then people like me would go in and buy,” he said in his ’06 audiobook for Trump University. “If there is a bubble burst, as they call it, you know, you could make a lot of money. At the same time, I don’t think that will happen.”  I would never nitpick Trump’s Archie-Bunker-like mangled syntax with phrasing like “if there is a bubble burst.”  Who ever put the words in that order?  But I promised not to nitpick, so I won’t.

Keeping in mind what we know now…. that literally everything Trump has ever said he either didn’t really believe, was lying about, or under the Rules of ’16 is permitted by the Enabling Press to get away with being 100% inconsistent with any and all past statements on everything… those above remarks were made for the “students” at TFU… Trump Fake University.  So, let us pretend that Trump, not running for office then, actually was hoping for a real estate bubble that would blow up and he’d brilliantly swoop in and buy for pennies on the dollar.  He’d greatly profit from his impeccable timing and one day they’d make a movie about it called “The Big Short–Fingered Vulgarian.”  Oh wait, there were actual public figures who actually predicted the collapse… Dean Baker, Nouriel Roubini, Peter Schiff and Robert Shiller among them.  Then there’s Trump, who in actuality was hardly waiting to capitalize on what he hoped would be lower real estate prices even though he was telling the people at TFU he was a modern day Baron Rothschild, who said in 1875, “Buy when there’s blood in the streets.”
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While Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren publicly, legitimately go after Trump for his stated personal wish for an exploitable housing collapse that would cause mass foreclosures making millions homeless and send Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 10.53.24 AMthe world economic system careening towards depression or worse, they are neglecting the final nail in today’s issue of The Trump Coffin of Inconsistency, Lying, and Hypocrisy.
On February 29, Washington Post reporters Tom Hamburger and Michael Kranich wrote a piece called: Trump Mortgage failed. Here’s what that says about the GOP front-runner. 

As some economists and Wall Street traders began to sense danger ahead of the crippling housing market collapse of 2008, Donald Trump waved away the worries and offered a concrete expression of confidence in the industry.

In the spring of 2006, the tycoon hosted a glitzy event at Trump Tower to introduce Trump Mortgage LLC, a new firm that specialized in selling residential and commercial real estate loans. He devoted a floor of the Trump Organization headquarters at 40 Wall Street to the new business. And his picture appeared atop the company website with the instruction: “Talk to My Mortgage Professionals now!”

 “I think it’s a great time to start a mortgage company,”  Trump told a CNBC interviewer in April 2006, adding that “the real estate market is going to be very strong for a long time to come.”

What kind of genius businessman would be starting a mortgage company at the same time he was hoping for real estate, in general, to collapse? Maybe one not quite as shrewd or intelligent or consistent as the image those man-on-the-street interview subjects believe in, “yea, he’s clever and rich and I think he’ll do the same for me and the country we’re gonna take back… he’s not politically correct and he’s not a politician.” Ya think?

Marketwatch on Elizabeth Warren: “Donald Trump was drooling over the idea of a housing meltdown — because it meant he could buy up a bunch more property on the cheap,” the Massachusetts senator said in a speech Tuesday , according to the Washington Post. “What kind of a man does that? Root for people to get thrown out on the street?” Clinton, Trump’s likely opponent in November, hit Trump on the same subject in a video and series of tweets. Trump blasted both Clinton and Warren at a rally in New Mexico Tuesday night, calling Clinton a “low life” for using his comments about the housing crisis in an ad.

As always, his technique to supposedly make the issue NOT about his views on the housing market in 2006 but about the NERVE of his opponents to use his own words against him… how DARE they… will be accepted 100% by his cult and buy him the few hours he’ll need to move on to the next news cycle and outrage moment.  Our only hope is that at some point, this Authoritarian Jenga Tower falls of its own weight of insanity.
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Kenneth Starr, Jesse Helms, and Bill Clinton

As Donald Trump continues his I Love the 90s tour, it’s instructive to look back and remember some of the details relating to the impeachment of our 42nd president

Kenneth Starr was a pivotal character in the impeachment of Bill Clinton. He had been appointed as a special investigator to look into Whitewater. For those of you not old enough to remember, Whitewater was the Benghazi of it’s time: Conservatives relentlessly pursued it, knowing that it would end the Clintons. In the end, nothing was there. There’s a reason that Donald Trump doesn’t add this to the litany of Hillary’s sins. Even he knows the witch hunt was bollocks

It seems impossible to believe, but the expansion of the Whitewater investigation lead us down the primrose path to the discovery of Monica Lewinsky and her affair with President Clinton. Conservatives were so enraged at Bill Clinton and his “far left” policies that they went to great lengths to try to destroy him, politically. One of the political figures most intent on destroying Clinton was North Carolina’s senior senator, Jesse Helms

Helms served thirty years in the United States Senate and delighted his supporters by mocking Ted Kennedy and, generally, opposing anything that didn’t help Big Tobacco. Helms said no quite frequently and he said it loudly. This earned him the title of “Senator No”, which he wore proudly

By the time the 90s dawned, Mr. Helms needed some new material. His homophobia still scored points for the fans, but he needed a little something that let him pivot and refresh his act. Enter Slick Willie

Bill Clinton stood in stark contrast to Jesse Helms. He was handsome, well-spoken, Ivy educated…hell, Bill Clinton had even been to Europe…AND LOVED IT! Jesse Helms made it his life’s work to hound Bill and Hillary Clinton, with some help from his buddy Lauch Faircloth

In one particular episode, Mr. Helms said that if Mr. Clinton was so popular on military bases in North Carolina that “he’d better have a bodyguard” if the president visited. Mr. Helms quickly called the comment “a mistake”, but his fans loved it

And, so it was, that when it came time to appoint a special investigator to Whitewater, Mr. Helms made sure his lawyer buddy from the Big Tobacco wars was put in charge: Mr. Starr

Mr. Starr has been in the news a bit recently. First, he made some surprising comments about the man who was impeached, in great part, thanks to his efforts

His genuine empathy for human beings is absolutely clear. It is powerful, it is palpable. The folks of Arkansas really understood that

 

Umm…thanks? I can only imagine the mix of emotion that must have entered Bill Clinton’s mind when he read that

Also, Kenneth Starr may or not still be president of Baylor University

So, you see, when you see Donald Trump revisiting Monica Lewinsky and the impeachment of Bill Clinton, it’s another great gift from the wellspring that is/was Jesse Helms. His legacy lives long and now his words are coming out of the mouth of a tangerine billionaire

On behalf of the citizens of North Carolina, you’re welcome

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Charles Wade, Black Lives Matter Leader Arrested For Prostitution/Human Trafficking, Is Son Of NBA & TNT’s Charles Barkley

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Black Lives Matter leader Charles Wade, charged April 25 with four counts of prostitution and three counts of human trafficking, is the son of NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley. A transportation industry worker says he picked up Mr. Wade (real name Charles Wade Barkley, Jr.) at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport last year and drove him to Fayetteville where he met up with a rapper Mr. Wade said he was managing.

The worker said Mr. Wade (who said he chooses not to capitalize on his father’s name in his activist efforts) detailed that he had been conceived when his parents were students at Auburn. Shortly after he was born, his parents’ relationship ended and Mr. Wade characterized his relationship with his father as more akin to a “grandfather.”

The transportation worker said Mr. Wade was especially proud of his work with an organization called Help or Hush (link) and was heading from Fayetteville immediately to St. Louis to do work for that organization.

The worker also said Mr. Wade talked about the pressures of being the son of someone famous. photo courtesy of NBA.com                                                                                         Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 10.22.55 AM

Charles Wade maintains his innocence of the charges.

MEDIA OUTLETS: Please credit BradandBritt.com. Media inquiries can be made at BradandBrittShow@gmail.com

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Trump’s Tiny Little Hands Were Too Small To Hold The Rifle Overhead Like Moses At The NRA Did! Sad.

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Donald J. Trump has been constantly lying and saying for months that “Hillary Clinton wants to take away your guns and abolish the Second Amendment… Crooked Hillary Clinton is the most anti-gun, anti-Second Amendment candidate ever to run for office.” It got major attention Friday when he said it to the NRA Convention, where he shockingly received their endorsement. For good measure, Trump added in another uncontested lie that Hillary wants to open up all the jails and let the murderers out (particularly the black ones just like Willie Horton, seen here, from the Bush-Dukakis era) so they can come and rape your women before they murder again… and you’ll be defenseless, just the way she wants it, because she’ll already have confiscated your gun. The sickest part of this is that, as usual, most of the reporting of the speech (excepted here) quickly mentions Trump is factually wrong but gives him credit for pushing the lie to his followers and white trash in the middle of Pennsylvania or in Ohio, etc. This is major-league Hitler/Goebbels-like demagoguery. Lie upon lie, accusing the opponent of dictator-like intentions when Trump is the one guaranteeing a Wall, rounding up 11 million+, excluding people from the country based on their religion only, and threatening US companies while practically promising an international trade war… as he encourages nuclear proliferation. One question: what kind of paranoid person believes anyone, including the President, can “abolish” the Second (or any) Amendment. That can’t happen under our Constitution, has never happened…. and we need to look more soberly at the candidate who has drilled down into an authoritarian, racist, nationalistic psyche that represents a bigger slice of America than we thought. Before the Great American Democratic Experiment is damaged beyond repair, please.

Adam Gopnik in The New Yorker, 5/20:

If Trump came to power, there is a decent chance that the American experiment would be over. This is not a hyperbolic prediction; it is not a hysterical prediction; it is simply a candid reading of what history tells us happens in countries with leaders like Trump. Countries don’t really recover from being taken over by unstable authoritarian nationalists of any political bent, left or right—not by Peróns or Castros or Putins or Francos or Lenins or fill in the blanks. The nation may survive, but the wound to hope and order will never fully heal. Ask Argentinians or Chileans or Venezuelans or Russians or Italians—or Germans. The national psyche never gets over learning that its institutions are that fragile and their ability to resist a dictator that weak. If he can rout the Republican Party in a week by having effectively secured the nomination, ask yourself what Trump could do with the American government if he had a mandate.

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NC Democratic US Senate Candidate Deborah Ross on Burr, Bernie, Bathrooms, Barbecue and More!

This is 2016, the Year of the Insulting Nickname in politics, courtesy of You-Know-Who.  Debra Ross responds to our question of what she does in response to being labeled, “the ACLU hippie chick.” (Ross was head of the NC ACLU for 7 years before election to the state’s General Assembly) “Richard Burr doesn’t want to run on his record because he’s so out of touch.”  On HB2, the infamous NC “bathroom bill,” Ross says Senator Burr claims the bill doesn’t discriminate, is certainly not a federal issue, and won’t affect the state’s economy. Wrong on all three counts, counters Ross, who also addressed the Affordable Care Act, minimum wage, and how to make higher learning more affordable….

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Some Good News About North Carolina’s HB2

On Wednesday’s Brad & Britt Podcast, we discussed a story about Braeburn Pharma deciding against cancelling an expansion in the state. From the article:

In the company’s statement, Sheldon said that she elected to keep the company in North Carolina after meeting with Attorney General Roy Cooper, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate who urged Braeburn to stay in the state and fight discrimination.

“The Attorney General argued that Braeburn could help more by advocating from within North Carolina than by protesting through departure,” the statement said

This indicates good news for North Carolinians who have been fighting HB2 for two months. Business leaders may get the message that they can talk to someone other than the governor for reassurance. This could mean that some business leaders don’t have confidence that McCrory will be North Carolina’s governor next year (Cooper is mounting a stiff challenge and is the Democratic nominee for North Carolina’s top office)

The state had previously enjoyed a progressive, pro-business reputation going back decades to leadership provided by governors like Terry Sanford and Jim Hunt. It is difficult to gauge the exact economic impact from HB2, but multiple stories have told stories of companies cancelling plans to come to North Carolina and organizations cancelling plans to hold gatherings in the state

In the next six months, Cooper and McCrory will mount a vigorous campaign for the office. Cooper will be able to tout the fact that Braeburn was given comfort by him at a time when the chips were down. This could be very helpful in reaching out to traditionally Republican voters and independent voters, who may not be engaged on LGBT issues, but are concerned about the negative economic impact of HB2. This will be key to Cooper’s campaign if he is to get beyond the Liberal vs. Conservative paradigm

This could amount to a “lack of confidence” vote from the business community for McCrory, which could mean bad news for the governor in November

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Lil’ Rush on Donald Trump’s PR Guy “John Miller”

On the 05/17/16 Brad & Britt Podcast, Lil’ Rush talked about Donald Trump creating a fake persona called “John Miller”, who he used to do PR for him. Lil’ Rush revealed that using a fake PR person is not an unusual practice among famous people. In fact, Lil’ Rush reveals that he used a similar tactic earlier in his career and demonstrates to Brad & Britt how he did it back in the day. It’s another eloquent defense of Donaldus Magnus from Lil’ Rush

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You Would Cry Too If Two Parties Happened To You

That’s what we’ve got in the United States… two parties… and just like 3-hour TSA “security” lines at our airports, there’s not a damn thing we can do about it except endure the pain and hope we make the flight.  Or, maybe not.

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It does look like two is the magic number that you bounce off of in either direction for political parties.  Three or more parties and you end up with Canada, Germany, or Israel, which seem to have two dominant parties along with other viable ones who work with the big boys and they get a government.  Move down to one party and you get Cuba or China.  Two is the US standard. I started wondering if this is etched in stone, whether we need to keep it, whether it’s really a fact, or if it is just some type of unhappy accident that is sending us careening over some kind of political cliff come November.  The answer is yes to all of those.

There will be no history lesson here, but for much of my life things were never more complicated than two choices for most stuff.  A or B.  Coke or Pepsi… cash or check… Bird or Magic, Ginger or Mary Ann, yellow or Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 10.03.27 AMbrown mustard.  Ford or Chevy.  I dread being sent to the supermarket by my wife when she wants me to buy a specific flavor/fat content Greek yogurt. It takes me 20 minutes to sift through the hundreds of variations so I’m not deemed a dope when I get home with the wrong one. In politics, though, the wonders of the miracle of the free market do not exist.  It’s take it or leave it… usually only two products whose owners pretend they are different but are more similar than they admit.  The barrier to entry is so high that in more than 230 years no one outside whatever the Big Two has been at the time has won.  The circular defense of the system’s been that the moderating necessities of governing justified that system.   Six months out from the presidential election of 2016 and the only certainty is uncertainty.

The last week has seen variations on the “will someone run as a third party candidate to stop Trump?” story.  Names come and go and denials are unanimous.  Bloomberg, Mark Cuban, John Kasich… all of them say no and begin with the fact that they can’t win and it’s too late, baby, to get on ballots in many states anyway.  But what would happen if one of these people suddenly declared themselves to be Libertarian and used the fact that the Libertarian Party will be on the ballot in all 50 states to gain real traction?  Gary Johnson, the former New Mexico governor, runs around acting as if he is already the party’s nominee, but he isn’t.  The Libertarian convention isn’t until the end of May.

Republicans have fallen in line with their nominee, as they always do, in record time.  Fake equivocation on endorsement though weasel language, “I haven’t gotten to that point yet,” means nothing, as Obamahate and Hillaryhate literally Trump all internal opposition to Donald.  More problematic is professed equivocation by the Sandersnistas, who are understandably furious that the two-party system was stacked against Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 10.00.01 AMBernie from Day One, and ain’t that America?  The most current violence at public gatherings was at the Nevada Democratic Convention, where it looked like a Hell in A Cell Political Cage Match over the weekend.

It’s not the prettiest of choices, this 2016 presidential election. With the two candidates’ negatives higher than lice, Drake, and the Zika virus, I’m closing in on DVRing Local Weather on the Eights forever to keep my sanity.

 

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“Show Me Yours And I’ll Show You Mine”…. As It Applies to Presidential Tax Returns. What Did You Think I Meant?

Donald J. Trump’s never given anyone reason to doubt his word before. I’d even go so far as to describe him as a man whose word is gold pyrite.

Birther-in-Chief, 911-Truther-in-Chief, and Cruz’s-Daddy-Palled-Around-With-Oswald Conspiracy Theorist in-Chief Trump is 100% sure he can get away with fudging one of the two great inescapables: taxes.  He refuses to release any of his tax returns, saying there’s nothing to be learned from them and it’s none of your business, so STFU.  His followers are probably convinced by now that he’ll even look death in the eye and say, “you’re fired,” and knock that one on its ass too.

While it’s inarguable that the Trump Sheeple will overlook this, excuse it, and falsely analogize it with something akin to: “yea but what about Obama’s grades or Hillary’s Goldman Sachs transcripts?”… I’d like to Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 10.57.14 AMthrow this issue of hiding tax returns into the Slippery, Rancid Pot of Things Donald Trump Has Done/Said that will doom him for good, beyond redemption, can’t come back from, nail in the coffin, it’s over…

Without drilling down into stats and polls here, there’s no doubt Trump can only win by expanding a universe of supporters who simply find him less onerous, less unlikable, less dangerous, and less dishonest than Hillary Clinton, the probable/inevitable Democratic opponent.  If he doesn’t cave on this and put out his tax returns, this will dog him nonstop to election day, and undercut his air of invincibility, strength, and being Mr. Tell It Like It Is.  Again, this will not shake loose one current Trumpanista, but it will so severely limit his ability to expand his appeal that, short of the unknowable black swan event, he’s toast.  Unless you think that Bill Clinton’s sex life will decide who the next president will be.

We now have 40 straight years of every major party candidate releasing their income tax forms.  Delicious irony that Mitt Romney, (apparently, allegedly) not as rich as Trump, initially resisted putting out his returns. Think Progress puts it this way:

In January 2012, Trump told Greta Van Sustren that Romney “was hurt really very badly” by his initial refusal to release his tax returns. He advised Romney to “release them now.” Romney released his 2010 return and a summary of his 2011 return later Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 11.07.34 AMthat month. After Romney released his full 2011 tax return in September, Trump praised Romney for releasing his returns and said they were “very honorably done.” Although Trump now claims no one is interested in reviewing tax returns, he said he personally reviewed Romney’s, calling them “absolutely beautiful and perfect.”

He then advised Romney to offer to release more years of tax returns in exchange for Obama’s college transcripts and passport records.

Trump’s 100% false, pointless, deceptive, distracting, droning repetition that he just can’t put out his returns because he’s being audited goes into my Why Isn’t He Directly Confronted On This Lie to His Face By a Compliant, Enabling Media?  I guess my question is answered by my question.

Right in the middle of the Watergate scandal unfolding, Richard Nixon….. that’s right, Richard Nixon… released his tax returns.  His famous line, “I’m not a crook,” actually came in response to a question about his taxes.  So, at this moment, Donald J. Trump is choosing to hide all of the things that a tax return would show the public.  How much he gives to charity.  How much he has donated to Democrats and liberal causes over the years. How low his tax rate is after crafty work by accountants. The reasons he’s being audited.  The possibility that his income is actually very low compared to his obnoxious, ostentatious public lifestyle and whatever wealth he has is all tied up in illiquid real estate.  The revelation that he never intended to nor could he actually fund his own campaign. It’s quite simple.  If his tax returns boosted his claims of “I’m really rich,” and helped cement his support among people who think the Celebrity Apprentice guy is automatically a business and financial genius…. he’d have released them the day he announced he was a candidate.  They don’t, so he didn’t. Crain’s New York Business begins this way: The presumptive GOP nominee said “there’s nothing to learn” from releasing them. Wrong!

Here’s why Trump doesn’t want you to see his tax returns

The vote for president, in the end, is a very personal thing.  We scoff at the “which candidate would you rather share a beer with?” question.  There’s no choice this time. Not only is Trump lying about his taxes, he doesn’t drink alcohol.

6 Reasons Why You Should Never Trust Someone Who Doesn’t Drink

 

 

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Our States as LAVAatories of Democracy–Exhibit A: North Carolina

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When Justice Louis Brandeis first spoke of the states as “laboratories of democracy,”  in a famous dissent in The New State Ice Company v. Liebmann decision, he could have never envisioned in 1932 that 84 years later that a bastardization of his concept would be at the center of this most unexpected legal and political smackdown: Whether or not the totally unenforcible, unnecessary, purely ideological and blatantly discriminatory North Carolina state law (HB2) should stand.  Remember, this is about a wide-ranging law that was rammed though at midnight with no discussion or dissent allowed, signed by the governor just hours later. It bigfooted a Charlotte law that had specifically guaranteed transgendered folks the right not to be discriminated against as they choose to use facilities that correspond to the sex of their choice.  That was the least of it.  This letter, from savvy attorney Joseph Stavola, appeared in the News and Record of Greensboro 5/9:

HB 2 supporters, you’ve been played. The legislative majority’s real agenda had nothing to do with an imaginary bathroom problem. It was to quietly further their vision of how to make North Carolina “business friendly”: freeze the minimum wage and free employers under state law to fire employees because of race, religion, age, etc., or to tell customers who are different to leave the premises for that reason alone.

I want to see a letter to the News & Record from any of you justifying why the citizens of North Carolina deserved the repeal of state legal remedies for workplace discrimination. That is what was really inside this Trojan Horse law, and its sponsors knew you’d all be distracted by a debate about what might be going on in the stalls of women’s rooms. The legislative majority could have written and passed a bill that was confined to the bathroom issue alone, but it didn’t. Have you asked yourselves why? So let’s hear from you; tell us that you support HB 2 in its entirety and applaud (NC Senate Leader) Berger (R) and Governor Pat McCrory (R) for diminishing the rights of you, me and every single citizen of North Carolina.

McCrory, caught between rockheads and a hard political place, upped the stakes Monday and guaranteed one of his standard talking points would come to pass.  “This is no longer just a North Carolina issue,” he said Sunday on Fox. “This is a basic change of norms that we’ve used for decades throughout the United States of America and the Obama administration is now trying to change that norm — again not just in North Carolina, but they’re ordering this to every company in the United States of America — starting tomorrow I assume, or Tuesday.”
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Maybe they thought six weeks ago that with the probability of Trump at the top of the ballot, this issue would blow up into a wonderful, base-building diversion that would excite the knuckle-dragging base to turn out in record numbers.  It’s backfired big time, with every Republican running for office, from Senator Richard Burr to McCrory himself to candidates further down the ballot buying extra campaign underwear as they lose support in every poll you can find. Nationalizing the subject makes it worse. Late in April, Public Policy Polling took a run at it.  I doubt Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 8.30.52 PMthings have gotten more favorable in the last two weeks.  But as Elton John sang, Sorry Seems to Be The Hardest Word.

HB 2 Deeply Unpopular in North Carolina; Voters Think It’s Hurting State. PPP’s new North Carolina poll finds minimal support from voters in the state for HB 2, and that voters think its passage has hurt the state in several ways. Just 36% of voters in the state support HB2, to 45% who are opposed. Independent voters are against it 33/46, and Democrats (20/63) are more unified in their opposition to the bill than Republicans (56/24) are in their support. Voters think the bill is having a bad effect on both the state’s economy and its overall reputation. 54% think it’s had a negative impact on North Carolina’s economy, to only 11% who think it’s having a positive impact.

US Attorney General Loretta Lynch, in a spectacularly strong response to Pat McCrory doubling down and splitting his cards by going on pugnacious, classic George Wallace/Orville Faubus/Lester Maddox-Southern Governor-style offense and suing the Feds, said this:

Let me speak now to the people of the great state, the beautiful state, my state of North Carolina.  You’ve been told that this law protects vulnerable populations from harm – but that just is not the case.  Instead, what this law does is inflict further indignity on a population that has already suffered far more than its fair Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 8.33.49 PMshare.  This law provides no benefit to society – all it does is harm innocent Americans… It was not so very long ago that states, including North Carolina, had other signs above restrooms, water fountains, and on public accommodations, keeping people out based on a distinction without a difference. We’ve moved beyond those dark days.

The News and Observer of Raleigh explains the federal government’s view: The Justice Department says HB2 violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which governs employment, Title IX dealing with education and the Violence Against Women Act, which was reauthorized in 2013 to include gender identity as a protected class. McCrory’s lawsuit only addresses the Title VII employment protections, and concerns whether all state employees have the same right of access to restrooms.

The Republican majority in North Carolina has painted itself so far into it’s own too-clever-by-half corner that they are willing to risk billions of dollars in federal aid to public safety and the University of North Carolina system.  Of course, since these guys hate public education, in general, maybe this was part of their brilliant plan all along.

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