teddyrooseveltprogressive's blog

Historic SCOTUS ruling: LGBT employment discrimination illegal

The Supreme Court has ruled this morning that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation violates the Civil Rights Act.

The decision said Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which makes it illegal for employers to discriminate because of a person’s sex, among other factors, also covers sexual orientation. It upheld rulings from lower courts that said sexual orientation discrimination was a form of sex discrimination.

Will reopening of NC’s universities in the fall be safe?

As North Carolina into a Phase 2 reopening plan, even as the number of COVID-19 cases are increasing in the state, universities are trying to decide what they’ll be doing this Fall. Will students return? Only some students? Will all classes be online? Only larger classes? How will they keep faculty, staff, and students safe?

In an online Board of Governors meeting, the UNC System’s president, Bill Roper, said he expects a return to campus by students in the fall and they’ll be finalizing guidance to the system’s 17 institutions by the end of the month. According to an email newsletter from IndyWeek, UNC-Chapel Hill may announce their fall plans as early as tomorrow. In a university-wide Zoom call yesterday, the administration announced a mix of instruction, with students wearing masks and in-person class sizes reduced.

Colleges and universities are unique institutions, bringing together a large population from around the country and even internationally in common spaces such as dorms, eating areas, research labs, and libraries. Some have working hospitals and medical clinics attached to them. The impacts of a contagious virus breakout wouldn’t be isolated to the campus - a university is part of the city or town surrounding it, where faculty, staff, and students live and mingle with the larger population. Think about the Tyson chicken processing plant outbreak in Wilkesboro and how that has spread COVID-19 to the surrounding community and across county lines.

It’s a complex issue to sort out. We have a large number of colleges and universities in all parts of the state, many part of the larger UNC system and others that are private secular and religious colleges.

If you aren’t paying attention to this debate and what universities are planning for the fall, you should be.

Sovereign Citizen Nutters Join Up With #ReOpenNC Nutters

Some of the Facebook groups I’m on have been monitoring the #ReopenNC Facebook pages and the pages of individuals associated with the movement. Besides the talk about violent threats, which have caused a split in the movement and led to near riots at the Michigan legislature and the NC Governor’s mansion, it looks like the extremist vortex of gun rights psychos, antivaxxer conspiracy theorists, evangelical zealots, and Karens who have to get their tips frosted during a worldwide health crisis have been joined by deranged Sovereign Citizens.

Is #ReopenNC an Illegal PAC?

Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve seen that the supposedly grassroots ReopenNC Facebook group is not some grassroots movement of disgruntled citizens, but an astroturfed movement backed by money from the DeVos and Koch political dark money war chest.

Now, with details trickling out that ReopenNC is getting “generous donors” for chartered buses for protests and legal representation, we have a “behind the scenes” report from Politico showing that this entire effort can be traced back to one goal - a last ditch effort by the Trump campaign to rally his base - an effort based on polling of white suburbs in Trump battleground states.

Is Art Pope Behind #ReOpenNC?

Earlier in the week, we saw a ragtag group of shrill evangelicals, right-wing “Don’t Tread on Me” freedom mongers, and air-headed anti-vaxxers and multi-level quack health promoters create a stir on Facebook and lobby the NC legislature to “reopen” NC for business in the middle of a pandemic - a call for reopening that is coming at a time when the US has been hitting new records for daily deaths from the crisis - 4,591 people died Thursday, bringing the US total to more than 33,000 killed by the pandemic.

As the week unfolded, it became clear that #ReOpenNC wasn’t some local grassroots effort - similar right-wing groups in Alabama and Texas, for example, and Fox News pundits rallied a drumbeat for “getting back to business, with President Trump announced a “plan”, if you can call it that, for “reopening America” on Thursday.

Buried in an NBC News story about the protest in Michigan, was a clue on what might actually be going on here.

ReOpen protestors at Michigan state capital

Recommended reading: The return to "normal"

Since the mysterious so-called "ReopenNC" movement and Civitas has been pressing the issue with Governor Cooper, it's time for a reality check.

Just what will it mean to get back to "normal"? When will it happen? What can "normal" look like?

The Atlantic gives an opinion on what to expect, informed by scientists and researchers and not social media memes and political slogans.

It's business as usual at Art Pope's Rose's stores

[Previously posted in the comments; additional info added.]

We haven't heard anything about Art Pope for awhile, so I checked the Rose's stores website to see how the pandemic is impacting Pope's main business - there's no mention of it.

WRAL Not Reporting Full Story on Franklin Graham's COVID-19 Stunt in New York

Recently, I highlighted the controversy surrounding Franklin Graham's publicity stunt, setting up a Samaritan's Purse outreach effort in Central Park under the guise of a "field hospital".

WRAL seems to be playing along with Graham's publicity machine, reproducing little blurbs about the makeshift "hospital" in their Coronavirus update every few days.

New Yorkers discover Franklin Graham's extremism

The Gothamist published a piece this morning on Franklin Graham's Samaritan's Purse ministry setting up shop in Central Park to test and treat COVID-19 victims.

And, they pointed out the group's history of using these medical crises as an opportunity to against LGBTs and Muslims.

Dear Charlotte ...

... still think it's a great idea to host the GOP National Convention?

Trump Says 'No Way' He Will Cancel the RNC in Charlotte, Despite Coronavirus

The gun-humping and associations with every racist and violent neo-Nazi and neo-Confederate group in the country wasn't enough for you to turn away business from the RNC. COVID-19 isn't going away anytime soon, based on the estimates I'm seeing.

Will a deadly disease make you change your mind about hosting this hot mess?

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