Michael SpecialeA remarkable story from the General Assembly lost in the ongoing budget blitz was the shocking slur against President Obama posted on Facebook by State Rep. Michael Speciale of Craven County. For a refresher on the kind of policy positions to which Speciale frequently gives voice, check out this post from a couple of years back.

As Raleigh’s News & Observer reported yesterday:

Outspoken Republican state Rep. Michael Speciale of New Bern took to Facebook this month to share an obscenity-filled comment about President Barack Obama.

“Look you Islamic son of a bitch” begins the quote Speciale shared on his public Facebook page Sept. 5. “Unless you give all your land back to the native Indians, don’t pretend to lecture Israeli’s (sic) about our borders when you can’t control your own.”

The quote isn’t from Speciale himself. He posted an image of Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Facebook that featured the comment. The image appeared on a page called “1 MILLION People to DEFEAT Barack Obama.” It’s unclear where the quote originated.

“Are you going to do something about (Islamic State terrorists),” the comment concludes, “or should Israel show you how it’s done because you are too much of a coward and the most piss poor excuse for an American president in your Great Nation’s history.”

Not surprisingly, this is likely not the end of the story. Though WNCN reported this morning that Speciale will not be apologizing or even commenting on the matter, the issue is now percolating into the national news. This morning, the national journal Foreign Policy highlighted the matter and posted the image on its website. It seems certain that other national news outlets will follow up.

Let’s fervently hope that Rep Speciale comes to his senses and issues a sincere apology ASAP and/or that Speaker Moore and Gov. McCrory demand it.

Image: NC Dep't of Commerce

Image: NC Dep’t of Commerce

For those of you who’ve been missing former DOT Secretary Tony Tata, you’ll be happy to know that Pat McCrory once again has a publicity seeking, book plugging, liberal bashing fire breather in his administration.

It seems that Ilario Pantano, McCrory’s Assistant Secretary of the Division of Veterans Affairs, a one-time congressional candidate and a former marine who was was once charged with murder for killing two Iraqis in 2004 (the charges were ultimately dropped after investigators concluded that Pantano killed two men in self-defense rather than as an act of premeditated murder), has found the time to write a book. What’s more he’s been plugging “Grand Theft History: How Liberals Stole Southern Valor in the American Revolution” at venues like the Cape Fear Christian Men’s Fellowship.

Click below to check out the YouTube recording of Pantano’s rambling , scatter-shot lunch speech to the Fellowship last Tuesday September 1. If you can hang in there for the full 32 minutes, you’ll learn that there’s a massive commie-inspired conspiracy in the United States to, among other things:

  • “kill God,”
  • lie to Americans about the fact that the South won the Revolutionary War for the country,
  • promote the notion that the nation is chock full of right-wing extremists (which for some inexplicable reason Pantano repeatedly pronounces with a short “e” as in the word “lemon”) and
  • deny that the U.S. is a “Christian nation” founded upon “God, guns and guts.”

In record time, Pantano also explains the McCarthy era was in fact justified and that the American Civil Liberties Union is part of a communist conspiracy to destroy Christianity that goes back to the Scopes trial.

It is, in short, a certifiably loony tunes performance that would be downright hysterical if it weren’t coming from a public official taking in $91,000 in a taxpayer-funded salary each year. Watch, listen and weep for your state.

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As reported on N.C. Policy Watch recently, some advocates on the far right — including North Carolina’s own Lt. Governor — have been pushing the radical idea of late that it’s time for a second American constitutional convention.

For those who haven’t given the idea much thought, the dangers that would accompany such a move may not be readily apparent. Thankfully, veteran national policy analyst Robert Greenstein of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities explained them in a recent column for the Washington Post.

As Greenstein noted, such an event could be a disastrous free-for-all:

The Constitution sets no rules for how a constitutional convention would work. What standards determine whether 34 states have called for a convention? Do all resolutions that state legislatures have ever passed count — even if they called for conventions on very different topics, or were passed 50 or 100 years ago, or were later rescinded, as some have been? Oklahoma, for instance, passed a resolution in 1976 calling for a convention but rescinded it in 2009, citing concerns about throwing the Constitution wide open to unknown changes; some proponents argue that Oklahoma should still count anyway. Can that be right? The Constitution is silent on all of these issues.

That’s just the start.  If a convention were called, how many delegates would each state get, and how would they be selected? How long could the convention last? The Constitution provides no guidance on those questions either.

He continued: Read More


As we noted in this space last week, Raleigh played host this past Saturday to a “Nullify Now!” event at which people closely tied to powerful groups and individuals within the modern conservative movment touted some pretty radical stuff –e.g. the notion that states have the right to nullify federal laws they don’t like and even secede from the union. Talk about going back to the 60″s…the 1860’s, that is!

 Today’s Weekly Briefing has some more information and thoughts on the event and makes the argument that, as absurdly wacky as the whole thing was, there is probably good reason for caring and thinking people to take these folks seriously and pay closer attention to what they are saying.

Click here to read more.


In case you missed it, this afternoon’s “Thankful Tuesday” event (at which supporters of the current state leadership will register their support for the impending regressive tax shift) will, according to the folks at Americans for Prosperity,  be co-sponsored by a group that calls itself the Moccasin Creek Minutemen.

As my colleague Chris Fitzsimon reported earlier this year, these are the same fun folks who, George Wallace-like, championed “nullification” of federal law at an event outside the General Assembly in January.  

The group’s website also serves as handy portal into the loony tunes underbelly of the modern far right, with easy-to-follow links leading visitors to the websites like The Blaze and NC Freedom — a site that, in turn, promotes a group that calls itself the North Carolina American RepublicThis group rejects the legitimacy of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution and, indeed, the very legality of our state government.

Yikes! Should be a fun afternoon.