Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Philadelphia Lawyers from North Carolina

Woody Guthrie wrote this song, which reminds me a lot of one we used to do (featuring Tommy Thompson singing the lead as I recall) called The Frozen Logger. The logger song is funny, one of those stories about a woodsman (hmmm, pun perhaps?) so tough that he never shaves, but drives his "whiskers in with a hammer and bites them off inside." He also stirs his coffee with his thumb, a trait that causes the barmaid who relates the story (Tommy allus liked those cross-dressing parts) to fall head over heels. Sadly, the logger goes out one cold night without his mackinaw. When it drops down to a thousand degrees below zero, the logger keels over, a victim of his own sense of invincibility and perhaps the practical length of such a ballad when presented in a joint that serves cold beer and has a strictly enforced cut off time.

The Philadelphia Lawyer is also prideful, but his sad tale is more straight-forward. Sung here by the great Rose Maddox, the lawyer's basically a smooth talking cad who figures he can put anything over on anyone. In this respect he is much like the Republican side of the NC Legislature. I wish Roy Cooper had just waited till he was in office, then made a straight ahead effort to get this obnoxious HB-2 law repealed. But perhaps that was part of the Philadelphia hoodoo. At any rate, repeal seems to have crumpled itself into a heap just before Christmas, with perhaps and perhaps not an overly slick effort to pass some sort of ban on any more such civil rights legislation for at least a year into Mr. Cooper's term. I hope so. The repeal sounded even worse that the law itself. Meanwhile, nice people who are NC citizens remain in a mean place due entirely to their perceived status as convenient scapegoats.

One would hope that at some point, and soon, people will start seeing through the smoke and mirrors. It's hard to be hopeful. When I think about this dreadful Presidential election just past I keep running into the same conclusion. While there are all sorts of details to be sorted out, the plain fact to me is that the voting public should have easily seen how unsuited to being President Mr. Trump is. After all, he ran on exactly that--he was the opposite of reticent. As we watch things unfold, day after day, there are few surprises. We're just ducking at the next concussion. It's all you can expect from a Philadelphia lawyer.

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One of the worst features of this is the arrogant stubborn. Gov. McCrory lost in an election that Trump won, almost certainly on the basis of this bill, which McCrory sponsored and battled for all year. Buck Newton also lost. A bill sponsor, Rep. Stam of Wake County, said the problem wasn't the bill but the way it was described by the news media.

It was simple. Get rid of this bill. The NC GOP couldn't manage to do that yesterday. Instead they tried a slick game of bait and switch, hoping to hamstring cities that want to pass their own anti-discrimination ordinances even more than they already are. They think the voters are stupid rubes.

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