Nine Years After ACA Expanded Access to Health Care, North Carolinians Call on State Lawmakers, Senator Tillis to Protect and Expand Law

As the anniversary of the passage Affordable Care Act approaches on Saturday, advocates from across North Carolina urged lawmakers to stand with them and protect their care against partisan repeal and sabotage efforts at a press conference at the General Assembly.

NC A&T a case study in partisan gerrymandering

Divided and conquered without an opportunity to protest:

In adopting the electoral map, the legislature partitioned the campus of North Carolina A&T State University, the nation's largest historically black public college, into two separate districts.

"We had one person representing us who shared our beliefs. Now we have two people who don't really represent us," said Smith, 24, a 2017 graduate who works with voting-rights group Common Cause, which is among the plaintiffs challenging the new districts.

This particular move may be the partisan straw that broke the mapmaker's back. It should be, anyway. Not even the worst justices (Thomas and Kavanaugh) on our conservative Supreme Court could swallow the idea splitting NC A&T in half was merely a coincidence, or that students are better off with two Representatives instead of one. Their votes were "cracked," to use the parlance of the mapmakers themselves, and there is no viable defense of that. And this argument might be even worse:

Friday News: Cracking the whip

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INTERIM PRESIDENT WANTS FIRING POWER OVER UNC PROFS WHO HOLD BACK GRADES: Teachers at UNC schools who intentionally withhold grades — to protest university policies or actions, for example — can be fired, the UNC system’s Board of Governors was told Thursday. Interim UNC President Bill Roper asked Arden to say again whether professors could be fired for withholding grades. Yes, Arden said. “It was threatened, I know that,” Roper said. He said it was frustrating to hear such a threat used because withholding grades “harms a lot of people.” On hearing of the threat last fall, Roper said, it made him think of the adage, “There ought to be a law,” to prevent or punish such willful dereliction of duty.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/article228244699.html

Out of the frying pan into the fire: Carol Folt takes over at USC

You have to admire her stamina:

In the wake of a series of scandals that rocked it to its foundations, the University of Southern California on Wednesday announced the appointment of a new president: Carol L. Folt, the former chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Folt will be the first female president in USC’s 139-year history. Before serving six years as head of UNC, she amassed a lengthy academic record as a professor of biological sciences, a dean, a provost and interim president at Dartmouth College. But perhaps most important for the USC job are her battle scars: in North Carolina, Folt managed to overcome a series of partisan political fights and academic scandals (though not without criticism that she didn't go far enough with reforms). Ultimately, she was pushed out of the job after bravely making the call to remove remnants of a Confederate statue at the heart of the campus.

I'm sure she'll be well-compensated by USC, but she sure has her hands full:

Thursday News: Also known as "Lying"

TILLIS BLAMES DEMOCRATS FOR HIS FLIP BEFORE HE FLOPPED: On March 14, Tillis voted to support President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration to circumvent Congress and fund a wall on the southern border. Tillis’ vote received attention across the country, because it came less than a month after he wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post that criticized Trump’s decision. On Feb. 25, the Post published Tillis’ letter: “I support Trump’s vision on border security. But I would vote against the emergency.” A Washington Post reporter called Tillis’ vote a “remarkable flip-flop.” WRAL’s editorial staff referred to it as a “flip-flop for the ages.” The Fayetteville Observer’s editorial writers said it was an “Olympic gold flip-flop.” In a fundraising email, the North Carolina Democratic Party said Tillis “says one thing, then does another.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article228170414.html

Bladen County still has no Elections Board

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Making a crazy situation even crazier:

Right now, Bladen County has no board of elections. Earlier this month, the new state board declined to appoint a new county board of elections until the investigation was over. NCSBE spokesperson Patrick Gannon said the board will appoint a new county board at a future meeting but a date for that meeting has not been set.

NCSBE members agreed at the hearing in Raleigh that in light of the information revealed during the testimony, additional oversight is needed of the upcoming special elections in Bladen County. “State board members agreed at the evidentiary hearing that the agency should look closely at the operations and oversight of the Bladen County Board of Elections, given the recent developments,” Gannon said.

Unfortunately, this article is over 3 weeks old, but a teaser of a story buried behind a paywall (that I refuse to pay because I'm already paying that company) reveals the Board is still not empaneled, and the NC GOP has refused to put any (replacement) Republican names forward to fill those seats. Absentee ballots for the Primary will (very soon) have to be sent out, and there's more than just a Congressional special election to be considered:

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