Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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HEALTH CARE EXEC'S FIERY TONE SPOTLIGHTS LEGIT FRUSTRATION: It would be easy to dismiss the intemperate letter from a Greensboro-based Cone Health official to State Treasurer Dale Folwell and members of the State Health Plan Trustees as just a hot-head popping off. But it is more than that. Why would someone with the stature of Frank Kauder, assistant director of finance for Cone Health, write such a letter – inappropriate as it was? It was exasperation and immense frustration. He is not alone. His vexation is shared by both the health care community and North Carolina citizens. They see an attack on the state’s health care system that will tear it down, not improve quality, expand access to services or make them more affordable. He worries that the financial future of Cone healthcare -- and therefore its ability to serve the needs of its community -- is being jeopardized.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-health-care-exec-s-fiery-tone-spotlights-legit-frustration/18510361/

Saturday News: Partisan fingerprints

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HOFELLER'S MAPS USED COLOR CODE TO GUIDE GOP GERRYMANDERING: Christopher Cooper, a professor at Western Carolina University and expert witness for the challengers in the gerrymandering case, took the judges, lawyers and members of the public in court Friday through the Hofeller files. Cooper pointed specifically to two factors in the files that he said showed Hofeller worked hard to make sure the legislative districts would give Republicans an unfair partisan edge. Hofeller color-coded the state’s political leanings, Cooper said, using a traffic light system of green for Republican areas, yellow for tossup areas, and red for Democratic areas. His color-coding went down to the neighborhood level, broken up into individual voting precincts. “It shows that partisanship was front and center,” Cooper said.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article232855167.html

Tillis & Walker: Two sides of the same coin

And both sides couldn't be more wrong:

Sen. Thom Tillis and Rep. Mark Walker were in attendance Wednesday night at President Trump’s rally in North Carolina, where the crowd’s chant of “send her back!” targeting Somali-born Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) rang in the air unchallenged.

On Thursday, Tillis defended the president, saying he had no control over the crowd and equating the event to a rock concert. Walker, a former pastor who has worked in refugee camps, called the chants offensive and said such rhetoric needs to stop before it defines the Republican Party.

Setting aside Two-Faced Tillis for the moment: Walker, who is supposed to be a religious man, is more concerned about the political consequences to his party than he is the safety and prosperity of the ethnic minorities being targeted in chants like this. Just do a mental exercise for me, and finish this sentence: "Such rhetoric needs to stop before it----" If you came up with "leads to violence" or some variation of that, you are a normal human being with an innate concern for the welfare of others. Now back to Tillis, who has latched onto Trump like a Lone Star tick:

Friday News: Virtual failure

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NC SENATE SET TO BOOST ENROLLMENT OF VIRTUAL CHARTERS DESPITE "D" GRADES: The Senate approved a bill Tuesday that would, among other things, get rid of the enrollment cap on one of the state’s two virtual charter schools and allow it to grow its population by 20 percent annually if it so chose. While there was no debate on the Senate floor Tuesday, legislative proponents of the bill have said that the schools attract “struggling students” and shouldn’t have a cap that artificially cuts off the number of such students who can use the resource. Opponents, however, point to the schools’ poor performance and trouble with virtual charter schools in other states as reasons not to let the schools grow easily. The North Carolina Association of Educators and the NC Justice Center sent a letter to Gov. Roy Cooper Tuesday asking him to veto the legislation.
https://www.wral.com/virtual-charter-school-gets-legislative-approval-to-grow-but-opponents-push-for...

NC Senate needs to act quickly on sexual assault bill

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There is simply no excuse for this dereliction of duty:

House Bill 393 passed the state House of Representatives without dissent in April, receiving strong bipartisan support. The measure would change state law to override the decade-old legal precedent on sex with incapacitated victims. The bill would also change the definition of a child’s caregiver and make it illegal to tamper with someone’s drink even if another crime does not occur afterward.

So far, there’s simply been no action in the Senate on HB 393, not even a committee hearing.

They've had time to authorize gambling on horse races, but not sexual assault victims. They've had time to expand the Board that oversees massage therapists, but not sexual assault victims. They've had time to address the speed limit in an exclusive golfing community, but not sexual assault victims. You get the picture, and it's an ugly picture at that. Fix it.

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