Seriously??!!  Is their any more pathetic group, any greater embarrassment to their state, than NC legislative Republicans.  I did think the HB2 repeal would happen, but I also was not counting my chickens before they hatched.  They didn’t hatch.  From WRAL:

— A much ballyhooed plan to repeal a controversial state law that limits LGBT rights went down in flames Wednesday night after hours of negotiations between Republican legislative leaders and conservative members of their caucus and a last-ditch parliamentary maneuver to squeeze a bill through the Senate.

My favorite part is that the Republicans, with super-majorities in both houses, blame the Democrats:

“Make no mistake: Roy Cooper and Senate Democrats killed the repeal of HB2, abandoning Roy Cooper’s commitment to avoid divisive social issues by shooting down a temporary cooling off period on ordinances like the one that got us into this mess last March,” Berger, R-Rockingham, said in a statement. “Their action proves they only wanted a repeal in order to force radical social engineering and shared bathrooms across North Carolina at the expense of our state’s families, our reputation and our economy.”

Oh, good God.  Do they even believe themselves when they spout off like this?!  Sad.  Plenty more details in the story, but the basic reality is that Charlotte complete rescinded their local ordinance and the Republican legislature refused to repeal HB2, which they have long said they would if Charlotte got rid of it’s law.  [This the part where where I write what I really think full of bad language and then just insert this instead]

Just unreal.  And all the Republicans in the state will happily just vote for the R next to their state legislators name next election.  And all of us live with the consequences.  Ugh, indeed.

Happy Winter Solstice

Loved this Vox article with some cool facts about it.  One of the things I find most intriguing is that the sunset has already been getting later for a while now (though, the days, of course have still been getting shorter).  The further south you go, the greater the lag between earliest sunset and latest sunrise.

Works for me, I’ve been getting later sunsets for about 2 weeks.  The later the sunset, the later I can get home from work and still walk my dog without a flashlight.  And during winter I pretty much always sleep through the sunrise no matter how late it is.

The real electoral college bias

Love this analysis from Nate Cohn looking at the various ways the electoral college is or is not biased and how that helped Trump.  His conclusion: not regionalism, not small-state bias, but a battleground state bias:

O.K., so it’s not California and it’s not small-state bias. What is it?

It’s the Electoral College’s most straightforward bias: The battleground states count the most.

Mrs. Clinton did well in noncompetitive states and “wasted” popular votes that didn’t earn her any more electoral votes, while Mr. Trump did just well enough in competitive states to pick up their electoral votes…

Mr. Trump did very well in the battleground states. Depending on how the battlegrounds are defined, the vote there either broke for Mr. Trump or was virtually tied — a huge improvement over Mitt Romney’s showing in 2012.

Mr. Trump won a lopsided electoral vote tally from those states by narrowly winning four of the five states decided by around one point or less: Florida, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania (Mrs. Clinton edged him out in New Hampshire). Outside of those five states, the electoral vote was basically tied, with Mr. Trump edging out Mrs. Clinton, 231 to 228 (and leading by the margin of small-state bias)…

The regional anomaly was the Midwest, and it just so happens that in a winner-take-all system Mr. Trump’s strength in the Midwestern battleground states yielded a lot of Electoral College votes.

There’s a real demographic reason for it: Most of the traditional battleground states are much whiter, less educated and particularly less Hispanic than the rest of the country.

But the demographics alone don’t quite do justice to Mr. Trump’s victory in the Electoral College. In the end, he won the battleground states by just a one-point margin — but claimed three-fourths of their Electoral College votes.

He won four of the five closest states, winning 75 of 79 votes at stake.

There has never been a close election in the United States in which one candidate has claimed such a resounding electoral vote margin out of the closest states.

For lack of a better word: Mr. Trump had some very good luck.  [emphasis mine]

Damn.  On such things do the fate of the country rest.  Unlucky us.

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