“Big Gulp” bill? Sharia Law law? A big week for solutions in search of problems in Raleigh

First up: the “big gulp” bill, which passed the house. Officially the bill has the more mundane designation of House Bill 683, “Commonsense Consumption,” but that euphemistic title reveals so little about what’s actually going on that WRAL et al have provided it with a more useful moniker. Yes, HB683 is a bill designed to… ban cities… from banning beverages.

I mean, yeah, this does technically fall under the GOP general philosophy of chopping the balls off of all local government, but… this isn’t actually even a thing that’s happening anywhere in NC. As Wake county Representative Deborah Ross put it:

“If there was ever a bill that was less necessary, I can’t really think of one,” she said.

Oh Deb. So naive. Cause clearly, at the time you said that, you must have not yet heard of HB 695, the bill to ban Sharia Law in NC.

Sponsoring HB695 is none other than prior jackass of the week winner Chris Whitmire of Transylvania county (this guy has now made news so frequently that I’ve completely exhausted my supply of horrible vampire jokes). Whitmire was, among other things, a co-sponsor of the state religion bill (hint: the state religion was not to be Islam) so this is probably not too surprising.

Protip for any US citizens out there: foreign laws already do not apply to you unless you’re conducting business with foreign entities and/or are on foreign soil, which is what makes this legislation not only stupid, but also completely pointless. Two Durham reps weighed in on this one:

“Has this been a problem in North Carolina anywhere?” asked Rep. Paul Luebke, D-Durham.

“Not yet,” Whitmire answered, adding, “we have at least 27 cases in multiple states where it has.”

“You’re acknowledging we don’t have a problem here,” Luebke responded. “I cannot see for the life of me why we need a bill like this.”

And:

Rep. Mickey Michaux, D-Durham, said the bill was unnecessary because the state and federal constitutions are already the law of the land.

“You’ve got the protections. They’re already there,” Michaux said. “Here we are at 11:20 at night, trying to pass a feel-good bill that doesn’t really do anything.”

Not that this matters, of course, because neither of them are Republicans.

Did I say solutions in search of problems? Come to think of it, these just look like more problems in search of other problems.

Last (for now), Grover Norquist has apparently endorsed the GOP’s tax “reform” efforts (which would extend the sales tax to cover more goods and services while reducing the income tax). As a general rule: if that guy is on your side, you’re probably doing something wrong.

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