As 2013 fast recedes in the rear-view mirror, many of us would like to think that the worst of the Koch brothers/Tea Party/conservative theocracy wackiness is over. Unfortunately, there is ample reason to believe that 2014 will be even more of a knockdown, drag-out political battle. Here are just a few reminders as to why this is the case and why caring and thoughtful people will need to bring their “A games” in the coming year to push back successfully:
Big, dark money – Dan Besse, editor of the excellent N.C. League of Conservation Voters blog , provides a link this morning to a story in Scientific American from over the holidays  that highlights a new Drexel University study about who funds the climate change-denial movement. Surprise! The bucks aren’t coming from the grassroots.
Asheville: facing abolition? As was reported several times in 2013, one of the General Assembly’s most conservative ideologues, Rep. Tim Moffitt of Buncombe County, has been waging a nonstop war with the city of Asheville for some time — whether it’s taking away the city’s water system or its airport. Now, comes word from Asheville Citizen-Times columnist John Boyle  that Moffitt may want to go a lot further.
Standing fast in favor of discrimination – Another discouraging story from over the holidays came from the North Carolina Family Policy Council, which is doubling-down in support of discrimination against LGBT kids and families. Just before Christmas, the group joined with some other conservative “Christian” groups  to urge religious schools to stick to their guns when it comes both taking government vouchers and denying admission to both LGBT children and children with LGBT parents.
Utah marriage equality ruling stayed – Though it doesn’t come as any great shock, the U.S. Supremes have put at least a temporary hold on the lower court ruling from a few weeks back granting marriage equality in Utah. Ian Millhiser at Think Progress has more .
Burr’s silent blockade continues – And, finally, speaking of why courts matter and why progressives need to a do a better job of fighting back against the right-wing stranglehold on judicial nominations, today marks the 3 1/2 month mark since NC Policy Watch Courts and Law Reporter Sharon McCloskey first reported on Senator Richard Burr’s silent and unexplained blockade of Federal District Court nominee Jennifer May-Parker . That such an important elected official has been allowed to take this action without any explanation to his constituents and not yet received universal condemnation from every news media outlet in the state is a continuing outrage.