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Failed State
Failed State

It might be time to send the United Nations, or at least Jimmy Carter and maybe Doctors Without Borders, to North Carolina, seeing as how a group of experts on measuring how well democracy functions in nations around the world has evaluated North Carolina’s electoral system and found the state no longer has the essential features of a functioning democracy.

Andrew Reynolds, of the Electoral Integrity Project, briefly explains how he and his colleagues have developed tools that “measured 50 moving parts of an election process and covered everything from the legal framework to the polling day and counting of ballots,” and applied them to studies of 213 elections in 153 countries; he says their methodology is “widely agreed to be the most accurate method for evaluating how free and fair and democratic elections are across time and place.”

Reynolds says he never would have believed that applying the EIP’s methodology to his home state would result in its electoral process receiving a score of 58 out of 100 points, earning it a place

alongside authoritarian states and pseudo-democracies like Cuba, Indonesia and Sierra Leone. If it were a nation state, North Carolina would rank right in the middle of the global league table – a deeply flawed, partly free democracy that is only slightly ahead of the failed democracies that constitute much of the developing world.

Congratulations, North Carolina! Perhaps someday you can hope to score as well on voter registration as, say, Rwanda, which gets a whopping 84 points, or an overall score as good as Tunisia’s (74 points — the best in Africa). As it is, you’re just barely ahead of Kenya, Mauritania, Algeria, and Burkina Faso. There’s a slogan for your license plates! “North Carolina: Slightly More Democratic Than Burkina Faso.”

Oh, but in some aspects of functional democracy, North Carolina actually ranks worse than any country on Earth, which ought to be a matter of pride for the state lege:

Indeed, North Carolina does so poorly on the measures of legal framework and voter registration, that on those indicators we rank alongside Iran and Venezuela. When it comes to the integrity of the voting district boundaries no country has ever received as low a score as the 7/100 North Carolina received. North Carolina is not only the worst state in the USA for unfair districting but the worst entity in the world ever analyzed by the Electoral Integrity Project.

Damn. And most states are satisfied if they’re doing better than Mississippi! At least the Justice Department told North Carolina to get its redistricting act together.

Chief among North Carolina’s problems with representative democracy is that while Republicans win a little over half the statewide votes, that translates into nearly 100% of the legislative power:

The GOP has a huge legislative majority giving it absolute veto-proof control with that tiny advantage in the popular vote. The other party wins just a handful of votes less and 0 percent of the legislative power.

And then there’s Amendment 2, the transgender potty law, which remains in effect after this week’s legislative bait-and-switch special session. That, plus the suppression of African American and Latino voting rights, wins you another low score for democratic autonomy.

Let’s also not forget that fun little trick where, after Republican Pat McCrory finally admitted he’d lost the governorship to Democrat Roy Cooper, the Republican legislature and lame duck governor worked to diminish the incoming Democratic governor’s executive powers. This is definitely the sort of thing Reynolds knows well from banana republics:

When, in response to losing the governorship, one party uses its legislative dominance to take away significant executive power, it is a direct attack upon the separation of powers that defines American democracy. When a wounded legislative leadership, and a lame-duck executive, force through draconian changes with no time for robust review and debate it leaves Carolina no better than the authoritarian regimes we look down upon.

So, how to fix it? Start with the simplest of democratic principles: Admit that one party can’t have all the power all the time. If it’s bad for Zimbabwe or China, it’s bad for North Carolina, too. Take the drawing of legislative districts away from the single-party-dominated state legislature and give it to an independent commission (even a conservative bastion like Arizona can handle that!) And respect the will of the voters, for godssake. If you lose an election, you don’t get to rewrite all the rules so the new guys have to ask the old guys “Mother may I” before appointing a cabinet.

Keep working on democracy, North Carolina! Before you know it, you’ll be right up there in the 60 to 70 range with Cameroon, Sierra Leone, and Namibia!

[News & Observer / Electoral Integrity Project / Electoral Integrity in Africa (PDF file)]

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  • Courser

    Whoo-hoo! And we JUST elected a president who’ll make sure this incredible trend continues. Also too, I’d love for that guy to evaluate 11/9. It won’t fail AS BAD, but that was no ‘free and fair’ election

  • Unpresidented_in_Seattle

    Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham and Asheville petition for the new state of Mid Carolina.

    • UncleTravelingMatt

      Boone libelz!!1!!!

      • Suttree

        Ooh, is that where they make the wine?

    • Meccalopolis

      Greensboro wants in

      • Amy!

        Wilmington, too, probs.

        See, the problem with having all us sane folks secede from the insane folks? Is that there are actually more of us. That’s why they’re pulling this desperate shit in the first place.

  • Oblios_Cap

    I thought Kansas was the GOP model for America, but it’s obvious that NC is what they want to all of the country to end up being like.

    • Latverian Diplomat

      Kansas doesn’t have enough minorities for the GOP to really show off there.

      • Blacktop Autumn

        Don’t be fooled. They like to stomp us transes too.

        Can’t change your birth certificate there. Ever.

  • Next thing you know, the lieberals will be demanding that the legislature stop wearing ceremonial white robes and hoods! It’ll all end in tears, you’ll see!

    • DoILookAmused2u ?

      They are convinced it’s part of the Liberal-Homosexual agenda to brainwash your kids into being homosexual liberals.

      I kid you not. I have heard it too many times for it not to be a thing among a large segment of the population there.

      • Blacktop Autumn

        I do like queer recruiting. It’s a people business, and I like people.

      • Latverian Diplomat

        Yes, the Homophobic explanation is that since gays “can’t” reproduce, they have to “recruit” to preserve their “kind”.

        Yes, there are big factual errors all over that idea, but they like it so much, evangelical missionairies preach in Africa. Hooray. :-(

      • You sure it’s not because they’re afraid they’re going to be dragged out of their closets? Given the way most of them obsess about what gays are doing in the privacy of their bedrooms, not to mention terror that a transgender might be using a bathroom somewhere, I have to think they are.

        • DoILookAmused2u ?

          I don’t know, but they have always appeared dead serious, and they only get mad when you laugh at them.

  • Latverian Diplomat

    “We thought ‘the whole world is watching’ was just something hippies say.”
    — North Carolina GOP

  • DoILookAmused2u ?

    As a friend who lives in the RTP area said when trying to explain how Jesse Helms could manage to get re-elected over and over despite the Triangle area being fairly progressive, “I don’t know who votes this way”.

    • Meccalopolis

      Same reason trump won

  • memzilla Ω

    Totalitarians In Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear.

    • willi0000000

      that must be the front-view mirror . . . ’cause i think they just lapped us.

      • Kellynsmith

        Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !mj444d:
        On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
        !mj444d:
        ➽➽
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        • willi0000000

          fuck off!

  • Nounverb911
  • Latverian Diplomat

    “We just skipped school the day of this test.”
    — Texas

  • Nounverb911
    • willi0000000

      it’s nice somebody finally noticed that just because you moved the fence doesn’t mean you now own part of your neighbor’s yard.

  • Spotts1701, Resistance Pilot

    North Carolina is not only the worst state in the USA for unfair districting but the worst entity in the world ever analyzed by the Electoral Integrity Project.

    Dang, now that is some cartoonish supervillainy going on in North Carolina.

  • UncleTravelingMatt

    Way to go Tarheels. You’re the worst Carolina in a world that contains South Carolina. Hang your heads in shame.

  • Rouge Skwerl!

    So when does the legislature impose a “temporary” chancellor to “aid” the governor?

    • Spotts1701, Resistance Pilot

      It’s only until the Trade Federation comes back to the table, honest.

    • Mr. Blobfish

      Right after the Reichstag fire.

  • azeyote

    what do you expect from republicans?

    • Suttree

      To STFU and let the adults take care of business?

  • Nounverb911

    North Carolina: making South Carolina look good again!

  • Ali | Desperately Seeking Brad

    I AM FUCKING SHOCKED THEY WOULD MANAGE TO GET 58 POINTS.

    • Spotts1701, Resistance Pilot

      They probably got 50 points for spelling their name right on the paperwork.

      • Unpresidented Ron

        MOSTLY right.

        • Amy!

          No’th Ca’lina. Wa’s rong wit’ ‘at?

  • Nounverb911

    Just wait until Nikki Haley gets to the UN, she’ll make everyone forget about NC….

  • MynameisBlarney

    Well…shit.

    I will never understand why people vote republican.

    • Blacktop Autumn

      More and more I’m thinking it’s because they don’t believe in democracy or civil liberties.

      • Martini Ambassador

        Or, like in this case, voting Dem is meaningless, thanks to gerrymandering and voter surpression.

        • aktlib101

          Sure, you are right. Nevertheless, why are so many people still voting for Repubs in NC? (or elsewhere). They cannot be all stock holders and closet millionaires. Some must be poor, working (if lucky) class. How can anyone believe Repubs in leadership will improve people’s lives? Is it religion? White privilege? Abortion?

          • h4rr4r

            Stiggin it.

          • Martini Ambassador

            All that, and idiocy too.

    • Nounverb911

      “I love the poorly educated.”
      –Doofus Donnie

    • FauxAntocles

      So they can beat the damn lib-tards! Harharhar!

    • aktlib101

      God, guns and abortions, of course. Name one piece of policy in the past 30-40 years that Republicans have voted in favor of, that helped average Americans or the “middle class”. Or the “poors”. Heh. Oh, I have one more: why do women vote republican, not to mention the Orange leader?

  • Jgb979

    All of this stems from them going for Obama in 08. Repubs in the state absolutely lost their effing minds.

    • Nounverb911
    • MynameisBlarney

      Having growed up in NC, I can safely say that the repubs in that state were absolutely batshit crazy long before anyone ever heard of Obama.

      • Suttree

        I used to have family in Chapel Hill back in the ’80’s, that seemed a little bit off. I think they were well prepped for the insanity that reared it’s head when they moved to Lubbock. We don’t really talk to most of them anymore.

    • Unpresidented_in_Seattle

      They’re still struggling with indoor plumbing concepts.

      • Unpresidented Ron

        Hell, they’re clearly struggling with the precept, ‘Don’t shit where you sleep.’

  • UncleTravelingMatt

    We desperately need a European-soccer-style relegation system. North Carolina and West Virginia become Territories; Puerto Rico and Guam get their shot at the big time.

    • DerrickWildcat

      NC relegated to the second division.

      • dshwa

        Straight to non-league.

      • UncleTravelingMatt

        They might struggle to stay there. Unincorporated Durndle County is hungry and Iraq has dominated the Quasi-imperial Dependency League.

  • fawkedifiknow

    Warning! Sports meatphor ahead.

    Hamstringing the new opposing party Governor is like a basketball player (cough, Grayson Allen from Duke, cough) tripping an opposing player just as he has him beaten to the basket.

    • Suttree

      Can we hate him like Christian Laettner? I haven’t followed college ball in a long time.

      • Good_Gawd_Yall

        I’ll allow it.
        <– Kentuckian who is still not over it

        • Suttree

          Shit, I lived in Bloomington when I was a kid. It took me a long time to finally hate that fucking asshole Bobby Knight.

      • Spotts1701, Resistance Pilot

        Considering this is the third time this year he’s done this (twice last spring, and now this one) and every time he swears he’ll “learn” and “do better” I’m okay with that.

    • Unpresidented_in_Seattle

      Seen Allen’s act before. May have something to do with being a Ted Cruz doppelganger. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dc038f8a91c79c9e415920901073b510304893ed2e992657e507668d5f158a01.jpg

      • willi0000000

        day-um!

      • Suttree

        Gah! There’s more than one of them?! I demand a stop to human cloning now!

        • Unpresidented Ron

          How would human cloning have anything to do with Calgary Ted?

      • Snopes Shop

        Gak!

  • Crystalclear12

    Are we great yet?

  • TJ Barke

    Republican governance!
    That’s it, that’s the joke.

    • MynameisBlarney

      “Govt. doesn’t work! Elect me and I’ll prove it to ya!”

      Every republicans campaign slogan, ever.

    • Ezio Auditore

      Those trickle down economics are working really great. Just check out that low minimum wage.

      • TJ Barke

        Something’s trickling down…

    • willi0000000

      they never wanted to govern . . . they want to rule!

    • aureolaborealis

      We could have a nice country, if it weren’t for all these goddamn Oxy morons.

  • Mr. Blobfish

    If and when NC returns to sanity, I will once again cast a line from the Outer Banks, assuming the Atlantic is not a lifeless boiling cauldron of acid.

    • If and when NC returns to sanity, I will move along to another back assward state and, as a grouchy and outspoken marxist, stick around long enough to see change there too.

      • Pinkham’s Law

        You, sir, are insane. A very, very good kind of insanity, to be sure, but still: insane.

        • Not insane, just “seriously injured in the accident of my birth”. That, and all the cool places cost too godamn much to live.

          • Suttree

            Luckily, neither me nor my father ever felt that way about Ohio.

    • willi0000000

      hey! . . . blobfish or anglerfish? . . . make up your mind!

  • Oblios_Cap

    I guess we’ll all find out what a Leppo is now…

  • Ezio Auditore

    I remember as a kid when I wanted more than anything to attend college at UNC because I loved their basketball team.

    Good thing I stayed local instead.

  • weejee

    Bet tRump tries to have the Feral Goobermint do to the blue-tarred states, what Michigan did to its cities, and replace the blue state governors and legislatures with a tRumpean appointed manager. Obviously those states have no idea what they are doing, being blue. For Adam Smith’s sake, those fools pay in more federal tax dollars than they collect.

    • Unpresidented_in_Seattle

      Donald would have lost attention to your suggestion before the 1st comma.

  • proudgrampa

    My brother, a resident of Chapel Hill, refuses to admit to anyone that he is a NC resident he is so ashamed.

    • Suttree

      I used to go to Chapel Hill as a child to see family. It is/was? beautiful! What a shame.

      • proudgrampa

        It’s still very beautiful, it’s just some of the people who are ugly.

  • TheGrandWaz00

    Welcome to North Carolina–We’re like an upside down Virginia
    http://www.jeffmette.com/log/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/density_map_hylidae_15perce.jpg

  • Pinkham’s Law
    • Suttree

      I’m fine! I just tripped. Would you hand me my beer?

    • TJ Barke

      How is that different from every other day?

      • Pinkham’s Law

        You have a point.

  • Unpresidented_in_Seattle

    So I guess that NC tourist ad campaign saying ‘Best Coal Ash Ponds In The World’ is on hold.

  • Daisy

    I just read this to my parents. I don’t think they grasp the severity quite as well, but they get that this is A Really Bad Thing.

  • Resistance Fighter Callyson

    This gives me a sad on behalf of the Tar Heels I talked to when I was phone banking. They deserve better than this FFS.

    • Daisy

      This is fucking awful. I wanna check where some of my friends’ parents’ countries of origin rank on that list, now, to see if they perform better than NC.

    • ViveLaRésistance

      I have many friends in NC who are fine people and dedicated liberals. They are terrified and disgusted. I nearly moved there myself; Chapel Hill, Asheville and the Piedmont are lovely. Now I have friends who are devastated that they chose NC as their place to retire.

    • sw19womble

      50-State Strategy FT(long-term)W

  • coozledad

    I wrote this the day the general assembly overturned the results of the gubernatorial election and appropriated new powers to themselves, including giving the outgoing governor’s cronies six figure sinecures. if you’ve got Republicans in your state this is their game plan.

    But the south is really thick with dead, in every sense.

    The dead, not content to merely outnumber the living, to surround them and poison their wells, have elected to invade the host of those who can still fog a glass and purpose them to ruin. This is the story of America you can tell the kids when they leave the house for work. It’s a story of adipocere and backwash; the brownish liquid seeping from the rusty apron of a coffin lifted to make way for a new Dollar store, the babbling of some amateur Civil War historian. Nasty rotten shit that gets everywhere and soils everything-the refusal to part with corpses in any meaningful sense is as big a part of the national character as circling to beat up on the unfortunate.

    When you set foot in this country you are firmly in the land of the dead. You are walking on the graves of the insulted and the embittered, you’re breathing the fungal breath of their hell-roasting souls in the person of their dumbass children; you’re always swimming in a rank, poisonous mush of everything that should have been discarded, salvaged lovingly at the expense of everything worth fighting for.

    And you’re expected to coo at its flags, because that, at the end is the real assimilation. The overarching unity of the treacherous, vicious, and stupid

    Believe it or not, I wasn’t even drunk.

  • MynameisBlarney

    I once interviewed for a factory job in a city called Gastonia, NC. The woman interviewing asked me if I could read. I chuckled as I answered in the affirmative. She didn’t smile as she proceeded to tell me that Gaston County, NC has the lowest literacy rates in the nation. And Gastonia was damn near at the top off the world wide list for illiteracy.

    This was about 15 years ago, I don’t know if that’s the case anymore.
    Considering what’s been taking place since I’ve been gone, I’d be surprised if the literacy rate has dropped even further.

    Way to go NC.

  • ViveLaRésistance

    Now do Florida.

    • Ezio Auditore

      Texas also too.

      • MynameisBlarney

        Hell, it’d be easier to name the states that AIN’T fubar’d.

  • Mavenmaven

    This isn’t a criticism to fascists.

  • ViveLaRésistance

    The rest of us need to put pressure on the few remaining large organizations that still have corporate HQs in NC, especially Charlotte. Make it hurt.

    • Vagenda and Tiara

      A lot of the banks have headquarter there, including Bank of America.

  • SayItWithWookies

    it took about a minute after the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act for North Carolina, Texas and a bunch of the other usual suspects to enact brand spanking new voter restrictions, cut polling places, and generally obstruct and menace anyone they thought wouldn’t be voting the Right Way. It’s just sad to know that given the smallest opportunity, so many legislatures and governors will fuck democracy in order to maintain their hold on power.

  • Nounverb911
    • Spotts1701, Resistance Pilot

      Isn’t that what W said when he sent the Mustache of Evil up there? And yet the UN is still there.

    • Cousin Itt de La Résistance

      It’s ok Bibi, your new BFF Donnie, will make your butthurt all better.

      After the war.

    • Jamoche

      Look, Donnie, if you really don’t want the job, it’s simple. Look at yourself in the mirror and say “You’re fired”.

      • shastakoala

        Say it 3 times and spin around.

      • Zippy W Pinhead

        what’s not to like? He hosts huge rallies of Trumpanzees and basks in the authoritarian glow while Pence, Ryan and the Turtle run the place and the rest of the GFOP goes off the rails. Plus, he’s making bank the whole time, as is the rest of his family and everyone around him. And the idjit GOP base won’t utter a peep about the obvious corruption as long as he fans the flames of their hateful bigotry and xenophobia and gives them a chance to feel superior to the libtards for a change.

    • ViveLaRésistance

      Does this jackass intend to rule via Twatter? Weak, sad, and very very small, Donald.

      • georgiaburning

        There will be very few press conferences. Just twitter and rallies among the masses. The spokespeople like Kellyanne will be always on TV to arglebargle confusion.

        • Dudleydidwrong

          Big Sister will be there to remind us that Big Brother is watching you.

        • this. exactly.

    • MynameisBlarney

      He’s just throwin spanners into all the works.

      • sw19womble

        He is one big spanner.

        • MynameisBlarney

          Indeed.
          He is a massive tool.

    • TJ Barke

      Full on genocide of the Palestinians. You won’t believe the bigly real estate opportunities!

    • Ezio Auditore

      He means January 20th 1939 right?

      • Dudleydidwrong

        Perhaps 1939, but it could also be 1929. Drumpf may have them both covered.

    • Unpresidented Ron

      Jesus Christ on a communion wafer… he really does intend to burn it all down, doesn’t he?

      • willi0000000

        easier than fixing it.

      • Yr. Gma

        He wants the real estate where the UN is for building more tacky towers. About this, I am deadly serious.

        • Unpresidented Ron

          I can believe it. But I suspect he might have a bit of trouble getting them out of the building.

          • Yr. Gma

            Nuke. He doesn’t know that nukes also flatten everything else for miles around.

    • Notreelyhelping

      Nikki Haley just got a sick headache.

    • nightmoth

      There’s a faded billboard in south Georgia I pass by on my way to the coast saying “U.S. Out Of The U.N.” It was placed there long ago by the John Birch Society. So with the Trump coup it’s no longer a quaint reminder of our isolationist past, right?

  • onedollarjuana

    I think the best solution is to admit that the South was right, and to force them to let them secede.

    • whitroth

      They can’t afford to – all of them get more from the feds than they send to Washington.

      • sgt. jmk of the résistance

        At this point, I’m willing to let them find that out the hard way.

      • Yr. Gma

        Are you sure about that?

        • whitroth

          This article in the Atlantic says they get more than a dollar back for every dollar. South Carolina is *massively* more dependent, btw.

          http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/05/which-states-are-givers-and-which-are-takers/361668/

        • nightmoth

          Yup–‘fraid so—all the red states suck off blue state titty. I am SO looking forward to my Trumpanzee cousins having their benefits cut. I hope it happens. They’ve complained about non-existant welfare queens for years now, yet they’re too lazy to hit a lick at a snake, and get all kinds of federal help. It’s vituperative of me, as my husband keeps pointing out, but I keep telling him that some mules have to be hit over the head before they’ll plow. The only caveat is that if Trump, or his handlers, if he has any, have any sense, they will find a way to let the (poor white) Trumpanzees keep sucking and the black and brown people go dry. That could happen.

        • Ricks CatCafe de la Resistance

          Yep. It’s a well known fact. Of course them red staters don’t like “facts,” but there it is.

    • VJ-DJ

      Better yet, how about California and NY secede?

      • Vagenda and Tiara

        How will all the dumb red states survive without NY and CA sending them money?

        • Ricks CatCafe de la Resistance

          Well, it will be difficult for us here in Califoretonia, with those failed states right next door, but we’re planning on building a wall, and Mexico’s already in and willing to help build it. You can come on a special visa and stay as long as you like. We like refugees.

          • Vagenda and Tiara

            If California exits, I’m coming with you! I’d love to live in the gay Republic of Californiastan.

  • DerrickWildcat

    Mission accomplished.

  • Villago Delenda Est

    Rethuglicans = Failed State

    See Nazi Germany, Soviet Union for historical precedents.

  • Iam Reading

    Sherman was too kind. I’ll leave it at that.

    • Ricks CatCafe de la Resistance

      I have been saying this for quite a while. Also, FDR should never have given them rural electrification.

    • nightmoth

      Reconstruction ended too soon. The minute the Yanks went home, the Confederates formed the KKK, stole land, killed ex-slaves, took away voting rights and nursed their grudge like it was a favorite child. It’s never gone away. I’ve lived here most of my life and I’m sick of it.

  • Cousin Itt de La Résistance

    “Let it be an arms race. We will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all,” Trump said in a statement to “Morning Joe” host Mika Brzezinski of MSNBC.

    Time to bend over and kiss my hairy ass goodbye.

    Too soon?

    Too late?

    • Rick Hill

      Yeah, because a race is something you want to make sure you win, right?

      • Cousin Itt de La Résistance

        And in a totally unrelated development: Trump tweets about nukes; shares of Colorado uranium firm soar

        “President-elect Donald Trump’s tweet this week that the U.S. “must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability” sent shares in one Colorado uranium company soaring on Thursday.

        Shares in Centennial-based Uranium Resources Inc. (Nasdaq: URRE) soared more than 31 percent in yesterday’s trading, rising 34 cents to close at $1.43. In early Friday trading, its shares were also climbing.”

        http://www.bizjournals.com/denver/news/2016/12/23/trump-tweets-about-nukes-shares-of-colorado.html?ana=lnk&ed=2016-12-23&j=76846041&s=newsletter&t=1482510990

        • Rick Hill

          He also has shares in an energy company in S Korea. You know, the one that, during the election, we were saying it was a conflict of interest.

          • Zippy W Pinhead

            IOKIYAЯ

          • VJ-DJ

            Thought he put his shares in a trust or dumped them…not his companies, but his stock

          • Rick Hill

            Couldn’t say exactly, the Newsweek article covered it. As to if he sold his stock, has he been truthful, yet?

    • TX Dept. of Brad Relations

      it’s the “outlast them all” part I find chilling.

      Yeah, Donnie and Co. along with their rich buddies down in a bunker might, we’re still fucked – as are the innocent citizens of any country that’s hit.

      Nuclear war – where the people who made the decision to fire the missiles survive and the rest of us die (horribly).

      • MOG253

        With Enough Shovels, an 8o’s book about surviving a nuclear war.

      • Beaumarchais?

        The 38th floor of Trump Tower will not make a good bunker.

    • ViveLaRésistance

      Who exactly is “them” and when did “they” become such a nuclear threat? If he means ISIS, mutually-assured destruction of the superpowers is what they’re hoping for.

    • mancityRed6

      *whips out my straight razor*
      let me at least dress up the plate first

    • aureolaborealis

      I live 5 miles from an Army base, and 20 miles from an Air Force base. That’s outside the blast radius of megaton strike, right? Guys?

    • Yr. Gma

      Where is a guy with votes and a good aim?

  • Paperless Tiger

    Whatever it is, it’s spreading. Much of the country is now locally controlled by a hostile plurality. It’s really a sort of dominionist occupation. One of the main factors, election software, is even named Dominion. Subtle.

    • Zippy W Pinhead

      Because Dems ignore state and local elections- they can barely be made to pay attention to US Senate and Congressional elections if they happen to fall on a midterm. We get what we deserve because we’re lazy and apathetic and only show up for the POTUS election (if that) while the GOP faithful show up en masse to vote for dogcatcher and school board races. And sorry, but the voter suppression excuse, while valid, only goes so far. For every enthusiastic Dem voter who gets stopped, there are at least ten more who couldn’t be bothered, no matter how easy it would be. I’m not saying that we should let up on the fight against voter suppression, but let’s be honest, most of our problem is people simply choose not to participate. We also need to encourage/cajole/shame/whatever it takes to get these people involved.

      • Alan

        Do you have evidence to support that?

        • Zippy W Pinhead

          the fact that the GOP holds the senate, the house and the executive branch, as well as 3/4 of the state houses and governorships isn’t evidence enough? You can blame gerrymandering only for house races, not senate or governor. Likewise the US House is the only race affected by gerrymandering. As to suppression- it’s definitely a problem and can tip close races, but there are simply too many cases where Dems just plain don’t show up.

          • Vagenda and Tiara

            Like the last election for example? A few thousand assholes in Michigan and Wisconsin and Pennsylvania just HAD to vote for Jill Stein, because “both candidates are equally bad.” Sure, Hillary Clinton would TOTALLY be talking about a new arms race had she been elected.

          • well maybe but for sure she would have had at least ONE a-lister at her inauguration.

            (makes me sad just to type that).

      • JD Mulvey

        Gerrymandering isn’t as simple as many progressives believe it to be.

        Being able to draw the districts is a huge deal, but once you’ve got that power, there are some tradeoffs to be made –it’s more art than science.

        Essentially you’re balancing the desire of current incumbents within your caucus, who hold the power and who want districts with lopsided majorities, against the future prospect of winning more districts by sprinkling your partisans across many.

        You’re gambling that many 55 to 45 districts will build your majority, but the people in charge, whose ass in on the line, want 75/25.

        The effect in an evenly-divided, fairly moderate state like NC is that by embracing these insane lobster-looking districts with as many of the other side squeezed together, you’re also making the surrounding districts easier to pick off.

        The Democrats need to fight for those mostly-suburban seats and win them. It can be done.

        • Zippy W Pinhead

          I agree

  • Zippy W Pinhead

    Although TBH, the GOP wingnuts here in AZ fought tooth and nail against independent bipartisan redistricting. And when they lost that fight they continued to try to sue to overturn every decision the group made.

  • OrdinaryJoe

    Article IV, Section 4. “The United States shall guarantee to every state in this union a republican form of government,…” So much for that part of the Constitution.

    • Courser

      So much for any of it. That compact has been broken – it’s free-for-all time now. It’s been torn to shreds along with any illusions of a ‘functioning democracy’. And I mean the entire country.

  • ibwilliamsi

    But mmm, mmm, fried pickles, livermush, and Cheerwine.

    • the hell you talking about? livermush?

      • nightmoth

        Livermush-good! Cheerwine—okay! Fried pickles –wtf?

      • ibwilliamsi

        It is nasty, and I won’t EVER eat it!

  • Alan
    • willi0000000

      Massachusetts Governor Gerry would be proud!

    • CATMAN

      Is that a Legislative district or did someone spill coffee on the map?

    • Amy!

      The Democrats created that one, originally, a while ago. “Both sides do it” does not apply (what the current Republican minority-majority is doing is seriously bad governance; the old conservative Dem party in NC wanted to keep their grift going for a long time, which meant at least not atrocious governance), but that particular abomination had a reason, upon a time.

      • Alan

        Nobody should be allowed to do it, ever. There are perfectly mathematically sound methods for evenly distributing districts among the population. Nobody in a position of legislative power should ever be allowed to draw districts.

  • Shibusa

    Maybe NC will have the last laugh after the other 49 states join the new Soviet bloc.

  • BoatOfVelociraptors

    Apparently my GOTV efforts were for naught.

  • Notreelyhelping
  • yyyaz

    I for one do not welcome our new Replicant overlords.

  • Greyhame

    Robust economic sanctions are really the only surefire way to curtail a repressive regime like the North Carolina state legislature.

  • JD Mulvey

    Well done, North Carolina! You went from being a shining example to the nation (under Democrats) to being a national disgrace (under that other party, the one with all the bigots).

    You’ve succeeded in being more embarassing that Brownback’s Kansas or Christie’s New Jersey, and that’s a serious accomplishment.

    • Résistance Land Shark

      What about Scotty Walker’s Wisconsin? Even Batboy’s Florida?

      • JD Mulvey

        Wisc’s been an embarassment ever since somebody invented those cheese hats, which I’m sorry to say predates Walker.

    • NorthernSaber

      Hell, they’ve even managed to out disgrace LePage’s reign in Maine!

  • VJ-DJ

    LOL, You weren’t complaining when Obama had Democratic majorities in the House and Senate. Or when Wilie Brown in California said, “I fooled those white boys” when he got someone to switch parties and give Democrats dominance in California…how are they doing by the way?

    • Juan de Fuca

      California? Doing fine. It’s now the sixth-largest economy in the World and we’re getting rain!

    • Jennifer R

      Out pacing Texas by a country mile, and still paying for all the tiny taker red states to continue to leech.

    • HazooToo

      I’m sorry, but did you miss the part where the Republicans forced government shut-downs over and over again because “Waaah, mean black man”? Or the part where they refused to even consider a replacement for Scalia, then admitted they would keep on refusing if Hillary won? Or when they said they would meet her at the door with 4 years of investigations if she won? Or when they said that their goal was to make Obama a one-term President? Yeah, of course you did, because you had your head up your ass the whole time. By the way, Cali is doing just fine.

      • Bongstar420

        NO..The illegal coloreds were a prominent aspect of trumpski’s putingenda. Something about putin favoring xenophobic nationalism as some sort of political manipulation device for a yet unstated plot.

        They took er jerbs!

    • Jonny On Maui

      Yeah, but you see, democratic majorities tend to help everyone. Republican majorities only help the 1% and actively work to hurt the rest. And btw, CA is going gangbusters once the Rs became obsolete.

      Have a happy holiday.

      • Jennifer R

        We finally got 2/3rd super majority in the state lege too, meaning we can change tax law.

        • Jonny On Maui

          As I have said before, if it wasn’t for the drought, I wouldn’t have left.

        • Bongstar420

          We can vote them in our state. They just turned down a corporate tax because of a campaign saying the tax was a consumption tax which was an initiative.

      • Bongstar420

        Certainly you don’t mean the top 1% in IQ which is everyone who is +135 IQ.

        • Jonny On Maui

          You are certainly correct.

    • boyblue123

      Half the state of NC votes democratic, yet those democratic voters barely have anyone who voices their opinion in the state house because of how badly the state is gerrymandered. Its 10 reps to 3 atm.

    • ResistanceFighterCaptainHowdy

      Are you here for the shemale buttslam? Sorry, that was a few days ago.

    • georgiaburning

      You’re right. We’re really horrible people in CA, the other states should vote to kick us out and save themselves. By Jan. 20th, if possible.

      • JD Mulvey

        Bbbut, can’t we keep California’s taxpayers a little longer??

      • Laresistance

        While they’re at it, they should kick out OR and WA also. Bad, bad bunch of liberal coastal elites, the lot of us.

        • Bongstar420

          Darn us to heck!

    • ResistanceFighterCaptainHowdy

      We did not find results for: Willie Brown “I fooled those white boys”.

      Check spelling or type a new query.

      • Look under “lies Republicans tell themselves.”

    • JD Mulvey

      Whenever I hear a RWNJ talk about California, I can tell we’re veering into the rabbit hole.

    • The Librarian

      We’re doing great, thanks for asking! How’s your state doing? Got a lot of those jobs back yet? How’s your health insurance?

    • Vagenda and Tiara

      LOL, you know Ronald Reagan ran California into the ground with his ludicrous tax policies, right? He did the same thing with the USA, but most of his followers were too stupid to notice he TRIPLED the national debt.

      • gonna happen next year too! everything old is new again!

        dems leave reps with good economy; reps trash good economy; CRISIS; stupid america finally votes reps out, dems fix economy and leave america with good economy; stupid america gets mad about an email server; reps trash…

        cycle rinse repeat.

        • Vagenda and Tiara

          It’s sickening that these morons don’t notice who’s running the country when they have jobs, and who’s running the country when they’re out of work.

      • Bongstar420

        That was his plan..They hate CA after all.

        Or will double reaganomics pay off this time and it really just an accident (I’m not familiar with what he did in CA but I’m sure its is awesome as always)?

        I get the feeling I will be short selling and buying option puts rather than the momentum buying that is going on now some time in about 4 years.

        • Vagenda and Tiara

          I’m selling my house, and holding the cash for 3 to 4 years, and when the market collapses again, I’ll be ready.

          • Bongstar420

            Ya..Id wanna be selling within 2 years if these policies do what they normally do, and they push for it hard.

            I will laugh if these policies actually do what they say this time which is create broad prosperity which attends to the interests of common folk. Never woulda saw it coming- wooosh

          • Vagenda and Tiara

            Same here! I keep saying “maybe this time Republican’s dumb ass ideas will work” and then I laugh at myself. They work in the short term – for example Trump’s infrastructure bill will push up wages and stimulate the economy, but he’s going to be paying for it with massive tax cuts, which will mean that we’ll be paying for the roads AND the interest on the money we borrowed, for decades to come, through higher taxes and cuts in the social safety net. In other words, it will be the same smoke and mirrors it always is with a Republican. The good news is that I won’t have to listen to my neighbors bitch about the national debt, even as it soars under a Republican president.

      • Ricks CatCafe de la Resistance

        Those were his marching orders here, btw– “Take care of the problem in Berkeley.” It’s taken us a while, and getting rid of the Republicans, but we are finallly doing great again.

        • Vagenda and Tiara

          You still have your little pension problem to deal with, but I’m in the very red state of South Carolina, and Republicans took a balanced pension, and through a series of bad investments, and ludicrously high fees to hedge funds, managed to get us in to a $20 billion dollar hole in a mere 16 years.

      • nightmoth

        Reagan tripling the debt was what cured my father from ever voting Republican again.

        • Vagenda and Tiara

          Same here, and then Pat Buchanan’s culture war speech in 1992 made me vow to never vote for one of those fucks again, even if they were sane and qualified (which most of them aren’t).

    • Old Man Yells at Cloud

      California’s economy is booming (6th or 8th largest in the world depending on who you ask) and we are starting the move to independence, so we’re doing pretty damn fine. Thanks for asking.

    • nightmoth

      Are you familiar with the term “Blue dog Democrats”? Get a clue, moran.

    • Logic of Color

      “How are they doing, by the way?” pretty damn well actually, thanks for asking. Wish I could move back there.

    • idiotboy

      Oh my,
      Well except for the drought things are going rather swimmingly.
      Well not that well. As an employer and a representative of our community, finding labor to do all of the work is a real problem. So wages are going up to attract good people and the economy, is well, 6th to 8th in the world.
      Where do you live VJ-DJ? If you are doing better then I will need to consider moving or investing in your area.
      Merry Christmas my friend, Let us pray for love and peace in the new year.
      M

    • doktorzoom

      Tiresome troll is tiresome, banhammered.

      — Dok Zoom, Yr Friendly Neighborhood Comments Moderator

    • How can someone get that much wrong in only two sentences? Is it art?

    • Ricks CatCafe de la Resistance

      Seriously, dude? We’re doing fantastically here in California. Ever since we got rid of the obstructionists, and actually have governance, our state is thriving. We’re ranked 6th in the world–that’s “world,” as in against other countries. We’re ranked with countries, not states. Our GDP is higher than Russia, France, Italy, and pretty much every other country except China, and, you know, the ENTIRE UNITED STATES.

      Los Angeles is a boom town. Where I live there are something like 50 different large buildings going up, and that’s just in my neighborhood. Netflix, Buzzfeed, Twitter, and Youtube just opened up major offices, again, just in my neighborhood in Los Angeles. We’re building a major, successful Metro system under a fully developed city.

      We Californians also provided you with the source code for your internet, and pretty much your entire internet content–your websites, your internet shows, your streaming, as well as produce and give you literally all your entertainment, your movies, your TV programs, your videogames. You liked Star Wars? Written, directed, produced, and distributed by Californians, all of them. You like Star Trek? Same. You post on Facebook, Youtube, Twitter? Californians gave you those.

      You eat any kind of fruit and vegetables? California. You use goods from China, or goods with components from China (pretty much every appliance in your house)? Comes through California ports.

      You like your iPhone? A Californian gave you that. Who happened to be the son of one of those Syrian refugees you’re so afraid of. So, yeah? We’re doing FINE. Thanks for asking.

  • Bitter Scribe

    I live in Illinois, and this is why I reflexively raise my middle finger whenever anyone (and nine times out of 10, “anyone” is the Chicago Tribune) demands that legislative boundary drawing be taken out of the hands of the (Democratic-dominated) state legislature and given to an “independent” commission. When states like NC, TX, etc., disarm, then we’ll disarm.

    • Alexander Stallwitz

      I never heard about this, I agree through. Thats all we need is the Governor appointing his cronies to tinker with legastive boundaries

    • Bongstar420

      Its almost like it would be better to have nonpartisan bureaucrats do it according to some algorithm that allocates according to fixed parameters.

  • DahBoner

    It’s time to take North Carolina downtown and turn the hose on them…
    https://media1.giphy.com/media/xTk9ZxzyebYgRWJxkc/200_d.gif#69

  • nightmoth

    I’m in the failed state of North Carolina right now. Had to come for Christmas. (This is the last time–swear to God–if 103 yr. old dementia aunt hasn’t passed on by next Xmas, somebody else can take her to the fucking family Christmas party) SOOO–local news from Charlotte says mayor is being blamed for passing the transgender bathroom bill for Charlotte which resulted in GOP legislature having a hissy fit and saying “No, you can’t do that” which resulted in North Carolina losing lots of money. So mayor, a very nice lady, is saying, “Wasn’t me–was the City Council–I just put it before them and refrained from voting.” She looked pissed, as well she should. I say Charlotte and the Research Triangle area and Asheville should all secede from the rest of this sticky icky state. So should every other urban area in every southern state, because it’s the insular ignorant rural rednecks who are causing ALL our troubles. Let them receive in services what they’re paying in taxes, which is NOT MUCH!

    • Incoming Ham

      “I say Charlotte and the Research Triangle area and Asheville should all secede from the rest of this sticky icky state.”

      Same for Austin, Texas. A small haven of blue in a massive oil slick of red.

      • nightmoth

        That’s what I’ve heard. Austin is an oasis.

  • James

    Notice how Republican dominated state legislatures (like mine) where the majority of voters are also Republican never engage in gerrymandering and voter suppression laws? Heck, Nebraska has mail voting, just as Oregon does. It’s almost as if in a state where elections might be close (like North Carolina) the Republicans have to ensure their opposition cannot vote, or if they do vote, it doesn’t matter.

    • Bongstar420

      We went 51% Clinton 41% trump
      Nebraska went 34% Clinton 60% trump

      Both states had twice the third party votes compared to NC with 5.7%NE, 7.3%OR, and 2.8%NC

      Hillary won my district 60% to trump 28%
      Coincidentally, we instituted rank choice voting by initiative in our district. We would hope to spread it.

      The U.S. state of Oregon established vote-by-mail as the standard mechanism for voting with Ballot Measure 60, a citizen’s initiative, in 1998. I couldn’t find how Nebraska implemented its mail in process.

      I just don’t think vote by mail is something republicans let happen. The Nebraska system requires people to request a “no excuses” absentee ballot, whereas in Oregon, everyone is sent a ballot and information about the election. Ballots are returnable by mail or you may drop them off at any of numerous drop off sites.

      It looks like turnout for NE was 71% whereas here in Oregon we had 79% and apparently they consider that low since the vote by mail initiative was passed.

  • RobKanC

    So to fix this would require rational solutions. Good luck with passing any of that.. And just as I type it, I realize I live here now and regret ever moving to this state.

    • Bongstar420

      If you remove the term rational, it might be workable.

  • SeeTrain65

    “When it comes to the integrity of the voting district boundaries no country has ever received as low a score as the 7/100 North Carolina received. North Carolina is not only the worst state in the USA for unfair districting but the worst entity in the world ever analyzed by the Electoral Integrity Project.”

    “And as you can imagine, that’s up against some pretty stiff competition.” – Rowan Atkinson, “Amy and Amiability,” Blackadder The Third

    • Ricks CatCafe de la Resistance

      Would that be Amy “Bury Me in a Y-Shaped Coffin”?

      • SeeTrain65

        ***NERD ALERT*** That was Jane Herrington, Black Adder II. ***NERD ALERT***

        Amy Hardwick was “The Shadow.” Father and squirrel-murdering blaggard posing as a addle-brained innocent …

        (I know … joking … but it gives a chance to post this …)

        =====
        Edmund: “From his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales to Miss Amy Hardwood: ‘The upturned tilt of you tiny wee nosy, smells as sweet as a great big posy.’ Fanciful stuff of course, madam, but … but from the heart.”

        Amy: “He says my nosy is tiny?”

        Edmund: “And *wee,* madam.”

        Amy: “Well, he must be an awful clever clogs, because you see, my nosy is tiny, and so wee, that I sometimes think the pixies gave it to me!”

        Edmund: (pauses, mildly incredulous) “He continues … ‘Oh, Lady Amy, queen of all your sex.’ I apologize for the word, madam, but Prince George is a man of passion.”

        Amy: “Oh, don’t worry, I can get pretty cross myself sometimes.”

  • SkinlessGenderlessMan

    “Take the drawing of legislative districts away from the single-party-dominated state legislature and give it to an independent commission a fucking computer”

    FIFY, Dok.

    Seriously, folks, the mapping of a state’s population into geographically compact voting districts of equal population is a job that should have been automated sometime in the 1990s. These days it would even be a simple problem to make sure the districts don’t have outlier voters – folks who have to drive fifty miles around a mountain range to go vote rather than voting in the nearby town, for example.

    This would make for some amazingly large districts in rural areas, and situations like Seattle where there would be five of the state’s ten federal districts within a three hour drive along the east side of Puget Sound.

    An additional benefit of automation is that you could make it an Open Source project, which would make the distribution algorithms and code transparent to a vast audience, removing all credibility from anyone whining about how the process is “rigged”.

    Do this sort of thing for every “district” we have in our political system – school board, water conservation commission, county supervisors, state and and federal legislatures, and Sunday back and watch the fun for the first couple elections, until things settle down. Please. Do it.

  • Does this mean that people fleeing NC oppression can claim political asylum? Not even kidding.

    • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

      Only the ones who voted against the GOP. The Republican voters can stay in the hell of their own making.

      • There was a time where I would go no, we can’t be like that, they are also too our country men and fellow humans deserving of protection.
        Anymore……*shrugs*

        • Ricks CatCafe de la Resistance

          Yes, we don’t need them polluting the functioning states. We don’t want them.

        • Ever since Brownback won Kansas, I’ve been “…screw it, this is what they want.”

      • Democrats, liberals, browns, and gaiz is what I meant.

  • Bongstar420

    Given trumpski’s out of left field win, is this that surprising? Its pretty crazy that if these fools threw the process to trumpski, he still only won by 4%. Otherwise, they wouldn’t even need to throw it to him and a high scoring process would be desirable.

    Or am I supposed to believe that it was “supposed” to be thrown to Clinton but rather trumpski won by a landslide which overpowered the throw?

    • Biel_ze_Bubba

      You might want to put down that bong before trying to post.

  • masked mumbler

    This sucks and everything is terrible but I have to admit I’m glad Arizona is no longer King Bigot of USA. We even got rid of Arpaio, of all things!

    • Parakeetist

      Yay!

  • OrdinaryJoe

    North Cubalina.

    • SDGeoff 2.0

      Cubalina! It’s a failed state! No, it’s a cocktail.

  • weave

    “NC is still a Republican state. The only reason McCrory lost was because he authorized tolls on I-77. If it wasn’t for that, he’d still be governor so it’s not fair to let a Democrat run the state.” (paraphrased somewhat)

    — The illogic of the editors of redstate.com

  • calliecallie

    Can they apply their model to every state in the US? Because as bad as NC is, there are others not far behind. Let’s expose these creeps for the dictators they are.

  • Reality Kills

    Yep. They are a failed state now. Happy I went there a month ago. My last time. Don’t have to go back!

    • JurisGal

      My job takes me to the reddest of states and some of the most rural places. Not looking forward to the travel in 2017. Not that I ever love going to those places…

  • Reality Kills

    We should break the country in two: Liberal States of US and Conservative “Foolish” States of US.

    • PubOption

      Unfortunately Missouri and Missourah occupy the same space, splitting the state would leave St Louis as East Pakistan.

  • Tina in Spokane WA

    Um, I think Rwanda is in Africa so how can Tunisia, which has fewer points, be the best in Africa. Asking for a friend.

    Whoops, just re-read it more carefully. Rwanda score was for voter registration, Tunisia was overall. I is a kolege graju8.

  • Gorillionaire

    The Republicans eliminated straight ticket voting here, apparently thinking that dumb Democrats would be stumped at the ballot booth and accidentally vote for a couple Repubs. (A familiar slur I have heard growing up in NC is that “the blacks” always vote straight ticket for the Dems out of laziness). Ironically, this may have lost McCrory the election, as that many people who voted for Trump simply checked his name on the top of the ballot and then walked right out. More people were motivated to vote against McCrory tho, even some Repubs, so it left him behind a bit.

  • I’ve been studying on the possibility that Bobby Jindal’s Louisiana bordered on fascism. It doesn’t quite fit the definition. Fascism is the state controlling the economy: industry, agriculture, labor. The governments worked closely with big industry. Jindal surrendered state resources to control of big industry particularly oil and gas. He looted state bureaucracies to fund tax breaks to lure industries to the state that would largely import the skilled labor, engineers, and management to run them leaving few permanent jobs for Louisianans and exposing them to some of the worst pollution possible. It is that chummy use of state resources for corporate profit that is sort of fascist, but it is the complete sacrifice of natural resources and populace that separates it from fascism. Either way the modern model of state governance as exemplified by Louisiana, Kansas, Florida, Michigan, and Wisconsin does not promote the well-being of its citizens or environment.

  • Cismontane

    Total a failed North Carolina. Tomorrow, a failed Republic …brought to you by your friendly neighborhood Failed State experts at the GOP.

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