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Another week and another foot-in-mouth incident for a conservative North Carolina politician. Last week it was House Speaker Thom Tillis and his crack about “traditional voters.” Now this week it’s former State Representative and current state GOP Vice-Chairperson Carolyn Justice in an awkward attempt to defend Tillis. This is from a story on yesterday’s Washington Post “She the People” blog entitled “North Carolina Republicans try — despite themselves — to win minority voters”:

“Last week, before the RNC announcement, Carolyn Justice, vice chair of the North Carolina Republican Party, said in an interview on “Charlotte Talks” on WFAE, the local NPR affiliate, that critics of the Tillis ‘traditional’ voter comments were just misinterpreting what the man she called “the most non-prejudiced human I have met” said. In a tough Senate contest, “We’re going to go for every little thread we can pull?” she wondered.

Then she went on to give an example of how anyone’s words can be twisted. ‘I can tell you lots of things that Mr. Barber has said; if I look at it with a jaundiced eye, I can see communist behind every curtain.’”

The story goes on to report how Justice — to questionable effect — tried to quickly backtrack from the Barber-is-a-commie implication of her statement: Read More

Frozen foodBaby, it’s cold outside! Another blast of polar air has settled into the eastern half of the country and appears likely to stick around for a while.  WRAL.com forecasts little relief over the next week and sports geek tongues are starting to wag about the possibility of the first truly frigid Super Bowl (which is scheduled in New Jersey for Groundhog’s Day). The website nflweather.com (yes, there really is such a site!) says it’s too early to offer a prediction, but other sites (e.g. Accuweather) are already publicly predicting tolerable temps.

And speaking of weather, rest assured that climate change deniers are — as they always do — seizing on the current cold snap as “evidence” that the planet really isn’t warming. If only that were the case. The scientists at NOAA tell us that 2013 tied as the fourth hottest year on record.

Yet another interesting take on the weather comes from conservative Illinois congressional candidate Susanne Atanus. According to the Chicago Daily Herald, Atanus went all Pat Robertson the other day during an interview with the paper — telling the editors that “she believes God controls the weather and has put tornadoes and diseases such as autism and dementia on earth as punishment for gay rights and legalized abortions.”

Meanwhile, speaking of troubled souls plagued by certifiably insane ideas, check out “The Year in Homophobia” over on the website Right Wing Watch. Read More

While it was obviously the right thing for state GOP leaders to sack party official Don Yelton in the wake of his off-the-rails performance on The Daily Show the other day,  a quick Internet search reveals that there was plenty of reason to expect his comically deranged and hate-tinged flameout for some time — enough, indeed, to make a body wonder why Claude Pope didn’t officially repudiate the man years ago.

As you can see in the video immediately below, Yelton actually testified before the General Assembly on the voter suppression bill earlier this year and displayed a coherence about on par with his Daily Show rant.

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But before that, Yelton had made numerous recorded speeches and even hosted a public access TV show in Asheville called “Citizens Speak.” Click here to peruse a veritable cavalcade of craziness.

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.

As Chris Fitzsimon has been pointing out lately, a group calling itself “Nullify Now” will meet at the Raleigh Convention Center tomorrow. The event is, amazingly enough, co-sponsored by Republican U.S. Senate candidate Greg Brannon of Cary. Brannon, of course, is the fellow who recently picked up the endorsement of national Tea Party favorite, Rand Paul.

In addition to Brannon, the nullifier event is also co-sponsored by, among other fun groups, the North Carolina League of the South — a group that calls for secession from the United States, a western NC branch of the certifiable Glenn Beck creation known as the 9-12 Project, something called Dr. Dan’s Freedom Forum (a website apparently founded by an Asheville-area tea partier who has run for congress in the past) and, not surprisingly,  a for-profit gold and silver retailer.

Should be a fun time. We’ll keep our eyes peeled and ears to the ground for any especially inspiring moments (and any new secession resolutions). Stay tuned!