North Carolina Gun Bill Approved By Lawmakers, Will Expand Where Concealed Handguns Allowed

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Both chambers of the North Carolina legislature have passed a bill that would allow residents with a concealed handgun permit, to carry their gun into bars and nightclubs that serve alcohol.  If Republican Governor Pat McCrory signs the bill into law, North Carolina residents will be able to carry concealed handguns into the state’s bars and nightclubs, unless those clubs expressly prohibit admitting anyone with a concealed handgun. Guns, alcohol and crowds of people under the influence, what could possibly go wrong?

Surely somewhere Wayne LaPierre is smiling and thinking to himself, “the only thing that stops a drunk guy with a gun, is a drunker guy with a gun”. Of all the things the North Carolina lawmakers could have been thinking, one wonders why the idea that bars and night clubs need more guns was one of them.

After all, the bill was passed on the one month anniversary of the shooting death of 22-year old Alejandro Alavarez who was murdered outside Skandalo’s Nightclub in Charlotte, when an ordinary fight escalated into the fatal shooting. Nine days earlier, Cedric Miller was shot to death outside Duke’s Nightclub, also in Charlotte. Earlier in the year Paul Anthony Fyffe Jr. was shot and killed outside Club 935 in Charlotte. In April an altercation turned deadly in Wilson County, North Carolina when Christopher Barnes shot and killed Travis Hilliard and wounded Antonio Montreal outside Oscar’s Lounge with a 9 mm handgun. In February, one man was fatally shot and three others wounded at the Nitty Gritty Restaurant and Nightclub in Winston-Salem. At least, three of the four men were shot inside the club, while the fourth may have been wounded in the parking lot.

A Goldsboro strip joint, Teaser’s Night Club, had its alcohol permit pulled by the North Carolina ABC Commission late last year after a fatal shooting in the rest room. The club also had a previous shooting incident which occurred inside the bar in 2011. In May of this year, three people were shot and wounded inside the Boom Boom Room nightclub in Elizabethtown. An April shooting at Flyer’s Bar in Havelock claimed the life of  Todd North, an ex-Marine who served as the head of Security for the bar. North was killed trying to prevent a teenager who had been thrown out of the bar earlier from returning. Though North was armed and able to return fire he apparently failed to connect while his assailant delivered a fatal bullet wound to North during the altercation.

In a shooting that began as an argument between two woman over a man, Krystal David opened fire in a Smithfield Sports Bar that seriously wounded four bystanders. Like most of the nightclub shootings in North Carolina that incident took place in the early morning hours, when people who have been drinking all evening are most likely to be fortified with alcohol and poor judgement. The lethal cocktail of guns and alcohol is now being served, pending the Governor’s signature, courtesy of the North Carolina legislature, despite the fact that the state has already had multiple fatal night club shootings in 2013.

Despite this series of murders, North Carolina’s Republican dominated legislature has decided that allowing more guns in bars is actually a good idea. While lawmakers have argued that permit holders are not a threat because they have passed gun safety courses, one has to wonder how many of them passed those courses after powering down a six-pack of beer and a couple shots of Bourbon. Alcohol impairs judgment and allowing bar patrons to carry guns is a recipe for more arguments and fist fights to become deadly gun battles.

In addition, the Charlotte Observer found that in Mecklenburg County alone, sixty convicted felons  hold legal handgun permits including five who were convicted of armed robbery, three who were convicted of manslaughter and one that was convicted of second-degree murder. Over two hundred permit holders in the county had drug crime convictions. If Pat McCrory signs the bill into law, these convicted felons will be legally permitted to carry a concealed handgun into a bar in North Carolina.

In the same bill, the legislature also permits guns on playgrounds, at parades and in funeral processions. Perhaps, gun owners have reason to be especially pleased with the right to carry at a funeral procession, because after a Saturday night at the club goes awry, they may find themselves attending a funeral for a fallen buddy. After your friend gets gunned down after a bar room brawl turns deadly, the best way to honor him is to bring a gun to his funeral. You had just better hope they are not serving alcohol.

Jimmy Carter Has Received More Death Threats Than Any Other Former President, Book Says

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Here is something you might have never guessed in a million years. According to a new book by Larry Sabato, Jimmy Carter is the most threatened ex-president in US history.

The Washington Examiner reported that: “

In “The Kennedy Half Century: The Presidency, Assassination, and Lasting Legacy of John F. Kennedy,” Carter told author Larry J. Sabato that he has faced at least three home-grown assassination attempts since returning to Georgia and is constantly warned by the U.S. Secret Service of personal threats during his frequent overseas travel.

“I have had two or three threats to my life after I came home from the White House,” Carter said in the highly-anticipated book due out October 22. “When I go on an overseas trip almost invariably, I get a report from the Secret Service that where I’m going is very dangerous,” he added in the book provided in advance to Secrets. Carter also told Sabato: “Sometimes they [Secret Service] ask me not to go, and I go anyway. They and I both just laugh about it. So I have been more concerned about my safety in doing the Carter Center’s business overseas than I ever was in the White House.”

Carter has been targeted by both US and foreign assassins, and the threats it seems are still coming at him today. The foreign assassins are understandable because of all of the international work that former President Carter does, but three homegrown attempts on his life since he left office is a bit mind boggling. There have been former presidents that were much more controversial than Carter. It is difficult to comprehend how Carter could be more threatened than Nixon. Carter’s comments about Israel’s apartheid being worse than South Africa’s is just one example of how the former president has made his opinions known. However, Carter didn’t commit crimes like Nixon, tank an economy like Bush, or have a sex scandal like Clinton.

It is a little hard to believe that Jimmy Carter is America’s most threatened ex-president, but this is why all former presidents need Secret Service protection. Just because the president has left office, it doesn’t mean that the threats stop.

Obama Economic Speech Tells GOP To Drop The ‘Endless Parade Of Distractions’

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Obama gave a powerful speech Wednesday afternoon at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, in which he preached the moral obligation of our legislators to get something done for the people. He also properly pointed out that inequity is not just immoral, it’s also bad economics, “This growing inequality isn’t just morally wrong; it’s bad economics.”

The President laid it out:

When middle-class families have less to spend, businesses have fewer customers. When wealth concentrates at the very top, it can inflate unstable bubbles that threaten the economy. When the rungs on the ladder of opportunity grow farther apart, it undermines the very essence of this country.

That’s why reversing these trends must be Washington’s highest priority. It’s certainly my highest priority. Unfortunately, over the past couple of years in particular, Washington hasn’t just ignored the problem; too often, it’s made things worse.

The President then called out Republicans for threatening the economy again, “We’ve seen a sizable group of Republican lawmakers suggest they wouldn’t vote to pay the very bills that Congress rang up – a fiasco that harmed a fragile recovery in 2011, and one we can’t afford to repeat.”

Obama went in deeper for the killshot, pointing out that Republicans insisted on the blind, drastic, thoughtless cuts of the sequester, which are harming our economy, “Then, rather than reduce our deficits with a scalpel – by cutting programs we don’t need, fixing ones we do, and making government more efficient – this same group has insisted on leaving in place a meat cleaver called the sequester that has cost jobs, harmed growth, hurt our military, and gutted investments in American education and scientific and medical research that we need to make this country a magnet for good jobs.”

Obama made a moral argument and an economic argument for better policies from lawmakers, and against the Republican threat to hold the economy hostage once again.

This time around, Republicans are demanding that ObamaCare be defunded or the economy gets it. Yes, they are that peevishly immature and selfish. They don’t want Americans to have access to affordable healthcare and they don’t want to stop insurance companies from dropping you when you get sick. They don’t want you to have these things because they were against them, and it would be a “win” for the Democrats if you got them and liked them.

So, even though it is the law of the land and was upheld by the Supreme Court, Republicans refuse to acknowledge it as the law. They’ve become lawless lawmakers– obstructing policy via extortion, sort of like the Mafia. The biggest gun wins, not the best idea.

Clearly Obama is the only adult in the room when he’s talking to House Republicans, who have become such an embarrassment that even Senator John McCain is distancing himself from the tea stench.

This speech shows why Obama is the President, while the feckless delinquents calling themselves House Republicans are just gerrymandered parasites. Obama is the leader of the entire country, and he puts his obligations to the people ahead of politics. Time and time again, he has tried to reason with the hostage taking Republican extremists in the House, only to have them vote no on their own ideas if Obama supported it.

Republicans don’t care about the people. They don’t feel any moral obligation to do the right thing by our economy, let alone the middle class. Republicans have become the immoral party of greed and selfishness, and their elected officials embody the lack of party values by placing their own elections ahead of policy and their actual jobs at all times. Republicans have become an embarrassment. They are way past policy disagreement and into post-policy nihilism based on glorified Randian, egomaniacal narcissism.

A thriving middle class is good for business and good for the economy, on top of being a morally desirable goal. Republicans like to dress up as the founders of this nation, while ignoring the very premise of opportunity upon which they founded it.

During his speech today, President Obama ripped Republicans, “With an endless parade of distractions, political posturing and phony scandals, Washington has taken its eye off the ball.”

Over the last six months, this gridlock has gotten worse. A growing number of Republican Senators are trying to get things done, like an immigration bill that economists say will boost our economy by more than a trillion dollars. But a faction of Republicans in the House won’t even give that bill a vote, and gutted a farm bill that America’s farmers and most vulnerable children depend on.

If you ask some of these Republicans about their economic agenda, or how they’d strengthen the middle class, they’ll shift the topic to “out-of-control” government spending – despite the fact that we have cut the deficit by nearly half as a share of the economy since I took office. Or they’ll talk about government assistance for the poor, despite the fact that they’ve already cut early education for vulnerable kids and insurance for people who’ve lost their jobs through no fault of their own. Or they’ll bring up Obamacare, despite the fact that our businesses have created nearly twice as many jobs in this recovery as they had at the same point in the last recovery, when there was no Obamacare.

With an endless parade of distractions, political posturing and phony scandals, Washington has taken its eye off the ball. And I am here to say this needs to stop. Short-term thinking and stale debates are not what this moment requires. Our focus must be on the basic economic issues that the matter most to you – the people we represent. And as Washington prepares to enter another budget debate, the stakes for our middle class could not be higher. The countries that are passive in the face of a global economy will lose the competition for good jobs and high living standards. That’s why America has to make the investments necessary to promote long-term growth and shared prosperity. Rebuilding our manufacturing base. Educating our workforce. Upgrading our transportation and information networks. That’s what we need to be talking about. That’s what Washington needs to be focused on.

During this speech President Obama praised some Senate Republicans for working with Democrats to get big things done, so it is very clear who he was talking about when he referenced distractions, political posturing and phony scandals. The president was referring to John Boehner and the House. The same John Boehner who said this past Sunday that it was his job to repeal laws. It was also obvious that he was calling out the Republican tea party obstructionists like Rand Paul, Mike Lee, and Ted Cruz in the Senate.

It was interesting to hear the president call these scandals phony distractions, because that is exactly what they are. The “scandals” are a Republican diversionary tactic designed to keep the GOP base fired up, while they direct attention away from the fact that they haven’t passed any meaningful legislation.

President Obama did something very interesting in this speech. He laid out the Democrats’ economic argument for 2014. Since Obama will never be up for election again, he is going to campaign hard for Democrats in 2014. House Republicans are already freaking out about the prospect of having Obama campaign against them in 2014. It looks like the president is coming for them, and he is ready to call bulls**t on all of their bogus scandals.

Ted Cruz Pushing Religious Right Lies About Marriage Equality

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So North Carolina has just made it incredibly hard for people to exercise their right to vote. Is the Obomaphobic, IRS-hating Ted Cruz (R-TX) upset about that? No, he is not upset by this abridgement of rights; he is upset about the extension of rights: the right to get married.

In fact, he is more than upset. Apparently, stripping that most essential right, the right to vote, from Americans does not threaten liberty. What threatens liberty is granting people the same rights he enjoys.

He says America is going down a dangerous road where “hate speech” is concerned. Letting gays and lesbians get married will lead to hate speech laws, he warns, and before you know it, pastors will be in jail for speaking up in defense of what extremists like himself pretend is “traditional” marriage.

Cruz told David Brody of CBN’s The Brody File, “If you look at other nations that have gone down the road toward gay marriage — that’s the next step where it gets enforced.”

Of course, he could not think of any examples of this. Just trust him: it happens.

Again, he can’t offer any examples of who might be driving these alleged efforts. But trust him; it’s true. And they’ll have already taken away all the white evangelicals’ guns so they can’t protect themselves and their families from all those black predators like Trayvon Martin.

Let’s face it: if there were laws against being stupid, our jails would be full of Evangelical pastors. Speaking of Ted Cruz, they would be full of stupid politicians too. But lamentably, that’s not going to happen either.

When Brody asked him if America needs a spiritual revival (and here I thought Rick Perry had given us one at his prayer fast in Houston a couple of years ago), Cruz said, “Everywhere I go people are afraid for the future of our country. I think we’re at the edge of a precipice. If we keep going down this path, we’re risking losing our nation, we’re risking losing the incredible oasis of liberty.”

Again, just to stress here, it is the granting of rights that is leading to this loss of liberty, not the stripping away of the right to vote.

What has happened is that Christian nationalist Ted Cruz is a member of a party/religion that has come to the bizarre and oxymoronic conclusion that stripping away rights protects liberty while giving rights threatens liberty.

From there, I suppose, anything is possible and we should not be surprised at any words that come out of a Republican mouth.

But hey, this is the guy who knows what President Barack Obama is saying without listening to what he says.

Ted Cruz has proved to be a gift that keeps on giving. If you want to put the stupid face on the GOP, look no more at Mitt Romney, but focus your attention on Ted Cruz and he will deliver.

You would like to think that he is the sacrificial lamb sent out to say catastrophically stupid things and distract us while his thuggish compatriots get away with murder (sometimes litereally) elsewhere.

Don’t get your hopes up. Cruz is just the tip of the iceberg, the leading edge of the avalanche of stupidity that has overwhelmed conservative America.

There are so many more saying and doing the exact same thing and we will be seeing an exponential increase in the stupid quotient leading up to 2016. Think of the potential for a moment: Sarah Palin, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Peter King…and Christine O’Donnell might run again.

And again, it will be the media’s fault they lose, because the ever-reluctant, right-leaning mainstream media will be forced to report at least some of their horrific rhetoric in an attempt to cover Republican election campaigns.

What the mainstream media ignored, we didn’t. So speak on, Ted Cruz. We’re listening.

Anthony Weiner Accused Of Engaging In New Sex Chats Using ‘Carlos Danger’ Handle

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After Anthony Weiner got busted for sexting again, and can we all agree that it is time for him to go away?

Weiner said, “I said that other texts and photos were likely to come out, and today they have. As I have said in the past, these things that I did were wrong and hurtful to my wife and caused us to go through challenges in our marriage that extended past my resignation from Congress. While some things that have been posted today are true and some are not, there is no question that what I did was wrong. This behavior is behind me.”

How far behind is the real question? The behavior that was revealed today supposedly occurred last year. We are supposed to believe that being forced to resign from Congress wasn’t enough to stop Weiner, but he is all better now.

This doesn’t make any sense. The reality is that Anthony Weiner needs to leave the stage. He has always had more ambition than accomplishment, and his ego is keeping him in the NYC Democratic mayoral primary. Weiner’s story line of remorse and redemption leading to a second chance has been blown to bits. Behind all the redemption PR, the old Anthony Weiner is still doing his thing.

The gossip website The Dirty called Weiner a sexual predator, which makes for a sensational headline, but the reality is that Anthony Weiner is still engaging in the kind of behavior that people who want to be in Congress or the mayor of New York should not be doing. (The argument can be made that no married person should be doing what Weiner has done, but his marriage isn’t any of our business.)

The carnival, the weird sexual sideshow, it all has to stop. I am sick of talking about Anthony Weiner’s inability to keep it in his pants and off of the Internet. No more sexting, no more penis pics, no more running for office. Weiner says he is staying in the mayoral race, but he shouldn’t.

Go home. Be a father, try to be a better husband, but please Antony Weiner just go away.

 

Whoopi Goldberg To Ken Cuccinelli: ‘I’m Going To Make Sure You’re Not Going To Become Governor’

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While explaining to an incredulous audience that Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli wants to make it a felony to have oral sex, “– a felony! YEAH!”, Whoopie Goldberg mainstreamed America’s disdain for Ken Cuccinelli’s extreme Republican values. She also vowed to keep him out of the governor’s mansion.

This is exactly what Ken was told to not let happen. The plan to get Cuccinelli into office has been: Do not let them know what a whack-a-doo you are. Run as a moderate Republican and keep your mouth shut until after you’ve been elected.

“Michael Douglas better stay out of Virginia,” Joy Behar deadpanned.

The panel had a laugh at Cuccinelli’s plan to outlaw oral sex:
“I think we all should—”
“You should stay out of Virginia, Mamma!”
Barbara Walters asked, “What ever happened to the slogan ‘Virginia is for lovers’?”

And so mocking Cuccinelli’s extremism was mainstreamed.

Walters explained that Cuccinelli automatically equates oral sex with homosexuality, to which Sherri Shepherd quipped, “Well then I’m gay as a — I mean I’m just saying!”

Walters continued reading Cuccinelli’s explanation of his fear of oral sex and the homosexual “agenda”, with the ladies getting bug eyed and horrified at “When you look at the homosexual agenda, I cannot support something that I believe brings nothing but self-destruction, not only physically but of their soul.”

The ladies were gobsmacked — oral sex brings self-destruction? Oh no you don’t, sir…

That was it for Whoopie. “You know what? I gotta say… first of all, how do I know you haven’t indulged? That’s the first thing. And the second thing is, why are you in my bedroom?!? GET OUT!!! Get out!!” The audience was totally with Whoopie on this one. Cuccinelli’s approval ratings just fell even lower, at least among the literazzi.

Whoopie continued, “Because, what he is saying and what he is doing are two different things and I don’t remember God saying anything about you being in my bedroom and telling me what to do.”

Playing the God card against the tent revivalist con artist! Good one, Whoopi. She finished off, “Sir, you’re not going to become the governor if you stay on this track. I’m gonna make sure your behind doesn’t become governor.”

The audience loved Whoopi’s speech a lot more than anyone has ever loved Ken Cuccinelli (see oral sex). Joy got in the last word, “He wants the government on my back and my husband off of it.”

That’s it in a nutshell. Cuccinelli wants to be in your bedroom telling you what to do and what not to do. #Winning.

This is super bad news for Ken Cuccinelli, whose biggest task in the upcoming election was to keep voters ignorant of his extremism. Even the Republican business community warned him that he was too extreme. In March, Politico reported on a very tense meeting Cuccinelli had with top GOP donors: “Shapiro (Gary Shapiro, CEO of the Arlington-based Consumer Electronics Association) spoke up next and was even tougher on Cuccinelli. As a hushed room looked on, Shapiro, who sits on the board of the influential Northern Virginia Technology Council, said the state’s centrist-oriented business community won’t back the Republican standard-bearer because he’s out of the mainstream. “Gary just slammed him,” said one attendee.”

The business community isn’t alone in their concerns over Ken’s bizarre beliefs. Republican women were fleeing Cuccinelli’s ticket after he accused Planned Parenthood of being “racists”. Let’s face it, Ken has some issues that don’t appear as shiny and golden in the light of day as they do in his imagination.

You might have thought his ethics (or lack thereof) were the problem, but ethics problems are only problematic for Democrats. We’ve come to expect them from Republicans, and then they tell us all that God sanctioned their greed and it’s all okay. But to be out of the mainstream to such a degree that you want to tell everyone they can’t have oral sex, well, sir, you are out of order!

Rand Paul Aide Resigns After Confederate Views Stir Controversy

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Yes, Senator Rand Paul has finally seen the light Paula Deen was blinded by, after days of outraged denial failed to get him off the racist hook created by his choice to hire Jack Hunter. He and his pro-secessionist, white supremacist aide have parted ways. Oh, so sad. Now he’s just hoping that his hiring of the white supremacist (and defense of) won’t harm the Republican Party’s brand.

At 11:20 am Monday morning, HuffPo reported that the Senator confirmed that it’s true that Hunter resigned by mutual decision and “he hopes Hunter’s tenure on his congressional staff won’t stand in the way of the senator’s efforts to broaden the Republican Party’s appeal.”

Seriously.

HuffPo quoted the Senator’s bizarre effort to distance himself from that which just days ago he embraced and defended, “I think everybody occasionally has people that work for them who sometimes have a background that damages what you’re trying to do. But I think people can judge me on who I am and what I’m trying to do.”

Paul worked closely with a man who called himself the “Southern Avenger”. He wore the Southern Confederate flag as a mask for funsies because secession is fun and the slavery was good. He praised the assassination of President Lincoln, among other charming sentiments usually found in adolescents, not the chambers of Congress. That was all fine and good for his South Carolina radio “show”, but the Senator should have known better.

It’s not as if Paul were unaware of Hunter’s past. On July 9th, we detailed Paul’s relationship with Hunter: “It turns out that Senator Paul has been pallin’ around with a neo-confederate pro-secessionist named Jack Hunter. Hunter is a close Congressional aide to Senator Paul, and is, according to Media Matters, a “regular” on Fox, writes for the conservative Daily Caller (also known as the Daily Screamer for screaming at President Obama during a Rose Garden speech, but they are also not racists — they just play racists when covering the White House), is associated with former South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint (big surprise), and helped Paul write his 2010 book The Tea Party Goes to Washington. The Free Beacon reported Tuesday that among Hunter’s other activities like advocating for the secession of the South as chairman of the “implicitly racist group” League of the South or writing for The American Conservative or promoting Ron Paul’s presidential run on Fox News Business (‘cuz nothing says freedom like secessionism, just ask Sarah Palin), he was also a shock jock supporting the assassination of President Lincoln.

Following these unsavory revelations about his close aide, Senator Paul denied that Hunter was a racist or a white supremacist, telling the Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman, “People are calling him a white supremacist. If I thought he was a white supremacist, he would be fired immediately. If I thought he would treat anybody on the color of their skin different than others, I’d fire him immediately.”

Here’s a big clue for Republicans: If you continue to go by your definitions of racism, white supremacy, etc, you will continue to make fools of yourselves. If you hear someone on your staff trumpeting the death of Lincoln, and you do not feel alarmed, the problem is you.

But y’all, Senator Rand Paul really hopes that his silly mistake of pretending he didn’t know what a white supremacist was won’t do any damage to that shining brand on the hill, the Republican Party.

The good news for the Senator is a) It’s probably impossible to further damage the Republican Party brand when it comes to matters of race and b) People are judging the Senator on exactly what he is “trying to do”. It’s just that what he is “trying to do” is not broaden the appeal of the GOP, but rather narrow the doorway into the collapsing tent.

Only white supremacists, racism deniers, and pro-secessionists please. Oh, wait, they already have all of the above. Tent shrinkage alert.