NYT Says ‘Voters Should Reject the Candidate Who Made the State a Pioneer in Bigotry’
Whether North Carolina Republican Governor Pat McCrory‘s decision to make an example of the City of Charlotte and its nondiscrimination ordinance was the result of his own personal beliefs, or a political calculation designed to win him re-election in November, the citizens of the Tar Heel State may never know. But Gov. McCrory is about to know what others who have made similar decisions, like Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, have learned: don’t attack the LGBT community with unconstitutional laws that are the fruit of ignorance and bigotry.Â
North Carolina’s Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper opposes HB2,Â the bill McCrory called for and signed into law just 12 hours after lawmakers rammed it through the General Assembly in a special session. Cooper, who is challenging McCrory for the governorship, said it best:Â “The governor lit the match and stood aside, while the fire grew out of control.”
The New York Times’ Editorial Board on Friday blasted McCrory, calling HB2 “an appalling, unconstitutional bill,” and calling for citizens to unseat their governor. “Voters should reject the candidate who made the state a pioneer in bigotry.”
But it gets worse.
Many major U.S., multi-national, and North Carolina billion-dollar corporations, and institutions, are denouncing McCrory’s new law, many of which do business, pay taxes, and employ many people in the Tar Heel State. Apple, American Airlines, Bank of America, Biogen, Burt’s Bees, Citrix, Dow Chemicals, Duke University, ESPN, Facebook,Â Google, IBM,Â Loweâ€™s,Â the NBA, the NCAA, PayPal, Redhat, and others have made public statements condemning HB2.
â€” Google (@google) March 24, 2016
â€” Jim Whitehurst (@JWhitehurst) March 23, 2016
â€” Citrix (@citrix) March 24, 2016
Dow is disappointed in the signing of NC #HB2. We will continue to call for a comprehensive federal framework to ensure fairness for all.â€“KK
â€” Dow Public Policy (@DowPolicy) March 24, 2016
Inclusion is one of our core values and we are proud to champion LGBTQ equality in N. Carolina and around the world: https://t.co/40yYLCrqO1
â€” PayPal (@PayPal) March 24, 2016
â€” NC Policy Watch (@NCPolicyWatch) March 25, 2016
The question now becomes, will these major corporations put their money where their mouths are, so to speak, and will LGBT organizations, the LGBT community, and North Carolina residents join together to force lawmakers to repeal McCrory’s law, or will they succumb to time and intolerance?
Gov. McCrory thought he could hammer his personal beliefs into law. Ironically, he claimed he signed what is the broadest anti-LGBT bill in the countryÂ to prevent “government overreach.”Â He disrespected the City of Charlotte and her people, its exceptionally talented and credentialed mayor, and the vast majority of North Carolina voters who oppose McCrory’s actions. He’s about to learn what all this feels like. Even so, he will never understand what it’s like to be transgender and need to use a public restroom. As one sixth grader wrote in a local North Carolina newspaper, “some people just need to use the bathroom.”
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‘Breathtaking’: Economists Stunned by Job Growth ‘Boom’ as Unemployment Drops to Level Not Seen Since 1969
The year was 1969: Congress certified the results of the election, officially declaring Richard Nixon would be the 37th President of the United States, Joe Namath led the New York Jets to win Super Bowl III, The Beatles released the soundtrack from their hit film “Yellow Submarine,” and unemployment was 3.4%.
It’s been 54 years since unemployment was at 3.4%, but the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released January’s report Friday morning, stunning economists who expected unemployment to go up, not down.
Economists projected 187,000 new jobs would be added to the U.S. economy in January. Instead, the number came in at 517,000, Forbes reported. Prior months were also adjusted to be better than first reported.
“This is a breathtaking number. That spike in stories about layoffs? It was about a small unrepresentative slice of the economy. Real America is still getting back to work,” crowed Professor Justin Wolfers, the popular University of Michigan School of Economics professor, a senior fellow at Brookings.
“Average job growth over the past 3 months is a cracking +356k. A boom!” Wolfers cheered.
“We haven’t seen unemployment this low since before Woodstock, baby,” he added. “Groovy.”
Wolfers wasn’t done. He blasted those who continue to talk about recession: “This is a final nail in the coffin of all the 2022 recessionistas. When average job growth is this high we call it a BOOM.”
For those who just want the bottom line, Wolfers offered this take on the jobs report: “It’s all good news.”
“January marked the 25th straight month of solid job growth,” The Washington Post reports, observing that the “labor market shattered expectations.” The Post adds: “the labor market remains formidable, inflation is beginning to normalize and there are signs that the global economy may be on stronger footing than originally feared.”
Image: President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the economy, Thursday, January 26, 2023, at Steamfitters Local 602 United Association Mechanical Trades School in Springfield, Virginia. Official White House Photo by Erin Scott via Flickr
GOP’s New ‘Bizarre Obsession’ Shows It Has ‘Gone Crazy’: Morning Joe
MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough ripped the Republican Party for focusing on a “bizarre obsession” to stoke a culture war that targets vulnerable teenagers.
A proposed draft of a Florida physical education form would require all high school athletes to provide information on their menstrual cycle to state athletic officials, which the “Morning Joe” host bashed as an unnecessary and cruel attack on a minuscule number of transgender teens who play sports.
“The percentage is so small that they’re doing this to every girl in Florida schools?” Scarborough said. “Talk about overkill. Just stop already.”
“I mean, let’s talk about that Florida law,” Scarborough continued. “Can you imagine doing that as a young girl when you were, like, in high school, middle school? Come on, talk about, again, the obsession over 0.003 percent of the population, and then the unbelievably small number of transgender students who are playing sports. The Florida Republican Party has gone crazy. They sent out tons of mailers on this, the obsession, and now they’re making young girls self-report on menstrual cycles because of this bizarre obsession?”
“This is stupid,” he added. “This is another stupid extension of a culture war where he’s trying to create a culture war around something where there is not a war.”
‘When Was Your Most Recent Period?’: Student Athletes in Florida May Be Required to Share Menstrual History
For the past two decades teenaged women participating in Florida high school athletics have been asked to submit their menstrual history, including the date of their first period, the date of their last period, and how many periods they have had in the last 12 months. The board of directors of the Florida High School Athletic Association, the organization in charge of coordinating high school athletics in the Sunshine State, will debate later this month if they will make divulging that information mandatory for participating in sports. According to the FHSAA website that board is comprised of 14 men and two women. Not one is a physician or medical professional.
Critics are voicing concerns over a variety of issues, including the right to privacy, the need for the highly personal medical information, who has access to it, how it is stored, and how it could be used against the students, including to determine possible pregnancy, miscarriage, abortion, or if the athlete is transgender.
“Many parents and doctors are worried that schools will use the menstrual data to monitor students for late or missed periods, a possible sign of pregnancy, or to out transgender students by watching for girls who don’t get periods or boys who do,” The New Republic reports, calling it “a terrifying glimpse of our dystopian post-Roe world.”
The three-page form, called the Preparticipation Physical Evaluation, asks:
“When was your first menstrual period?” “When was your most recent menstrual period? “How much time do you usually have from the start of one period to the start of another?” “How many periods have you had in the last year? and “What was the longest time between periods in the last year?”
A draft form slightly alters the questions, asking instead, “Have you had a menstrual period?” and “How old were you when you had your first menstrual period?” in addition to the other three questions.
While it currently states answering is optional, at the end of this month those questions could become mandatory, although the reason for the possible change has not been disclosed.
Because the information is not being given by the athletes to a physician or other medical professional or organization, the information is not subject to HIPAA regulations. And in some school districts the inform action is stored on a third-party platform, possibly exposing it to other entities.
“This is clearly an effort to further stigmatize and demonize transgender people in sports [and] meant to further exclude people who aren’t assigned female at birth in girls sports,” the president of PRISM, a South Florida nonprofit organization that provides sexual health information to LGBTQ+ youth, Maxx Fenning, told The Tampa Bay Times. “Beyond that, I think there’s concern among LGBTQ+ and non-LGBTQ+ [students] alike. This is an extremely invasive mode of gleaning into someone’s reproductive history, which is especially dangerous in this post-Roe world we live in.”
TIME adds that critics “have noted that this policy would be a major challenge for transgender athletes who may have to out themselves with their responses to the questions. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis approved a bill last year—which is currently under legal fire—that bans transgender female students from playing on women and girls’ sports teams.”
According to the fan-checking site Snopes, “these written forms with students’ medical information are submitted to school officials, contrary to a number of other states where only a doctor’s signature is required to clear an athlete for play.”
Snopes adds that “concerns grew as many states worked to criminalize abortions after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and transgender athletes faced scrutiny. In Florida, abortions are banned after 15 weeks, with only a few exceptions.”
“Any forms (physical or digital) could be subpoenaed. Meanwhile, in Palm Beach County, nearly all athlete-registration forms moved online, which meant reproductive data for athletes was being stored by a third-party software company called Aktivate. Other counties were also planning to digitize their forms.”
Last October NBC News reported that an Aktivate spokesperson said a student’s information could be removed but only with parental and school district consent.
Image via Shutterstock
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