Monday News: Never forget

MEMORIALS HELD ON ANNIVERSARY OF PULSE NIGHTCLUB MASSACRE: Church bells will toll throughout the Orlando area as residents reflect on the 49 patrons killed during a massacre at the gay nightclub Pulse in the worst mass shooting in recent U.S. history. Starting in the early hours Monday, and continuing almost 24 hours later, survivors, victims’ families, city officials and central Florida residents will remember the victims with four services. The first service is closed to the public, and it’s being held at the nightclub for survivors, local officials and club employees. It will overlap with the exact time that gunman Omar Mateen began firing shots — a little after 2 a.m. on June 12, 2016. It is followed by another midday service at the nightclub, and an evening gathering in the heart of downtown Orlando. A final, music-filled late-night service is being held at the nightclub.
http://www.thetimesnews.com/zz/news/20170612/rise-orlando-massacre-anniversary-first-lady-moves-in-p...

Profiles in hatred: Anti-Muslim extremists invade US cities

White supremacy seems to be the common denominator:

Far-right groups converged on the grounds of the State Capitol in Raleigh for an anti-sharia law rally, part of a nationwide string of events hosted by the anti-Muslim organization ACT for America, on Saturday. “There are no KKK here, there are no Nazis here,” said Peter Boykin, president of Gays for Trump and the local coordinator for the Raleigh anti-sharia rally. Despite his disavowal of extremism, Boykin publicly thanked Identity Evropa, a group founded last year that openly espouses white supremacy, after members in matching white dress shirts punctuated speeches with chants of, “Sharia-free USA” and “We will not be silenced.”

If you're wondering (as I frequently do) on what could lead to somebody joining such a fringe group, which often requires traveling great distances just to publicly display your ignorance, the most obvious first choice is deeply-ingrained racism. But it's more than that, and at least some of the responsibility may rest on our shoulders. To go this far, you have to also possess an incredible lack of trust in our system of government, the way our laws are developed and enforced. Many on the Left are guilty of relentlessly attacking that (entire) system, as opposed to being surgical in their criticisms, and this has helped to erode public trust across the board. And in that trust-deficient environment, fear always steps in to fill the void. And so we hear the names of ambiguous and "code-enhanced" groups emerging:

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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END THE PARTISAN GAMES, DRAW LEGAL VOTING DISTRICTS NOW: It is time for the North Carolina General Assembly to face reality. They are being ordered to create new legislative and congressional districts. For the third time this year the U.S. Supreme Court has taken North Carolina’s lawmakers to task, unanimously ruling they relied too heavily on race to illegally draw the state’s legislative districts. Simply put, the current districts are unconstitutional. The court should give the state a deadline and provide specific criteria to be followed for drawing the new districts. If the legislature will not follow the guidelines, the court should draw the districts itself. Additionally, the court could also ask for public input to help with the new districts.
http://www.wral.com/editorial-end-the-partisan-games-draw-legal-voting-districts-now/16746847/

Saturday News: The clock is ticking...

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3-JUDGE PANEL WANTS ACTION ON GERRYMANDERING PROBLEM QUICKLY, COOPER CONCURS: A three-judge federal Middle District panel said Friday it wants to move quickly to remedy 28 racially gerrymandered state House and Senate districts. "I'm pleased the court intends to act swiftly," N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper said Friday in a statement. "There is no reason for Republican legislators to drag their heels in correcting this wrong after the Supreme Court affirmed their map to be unconstitutional." In its notice Friday, the court invited attorneys for the state, legislators and the State Board of Elections to provide input "as expeditiously as possible."
http://www.greensboro.com/news/north_carolina/court-calls-for-quick-action-by-nc-on-redistricting/ar...

Gerrymandering update

Received via email:

The three-judge federal Middle District panel in Covington certainly appears to be moving North Carolina’s redistricting process forward quickly, potentially with legislative elections in 2017. However, the panel must also address SCOTUS’s instructions to re-weigh the balance of equities as to whether 2017special legislative elections are appropriate.

Amidst the Trump/Russia scandal, Republicans are gutting Dodd-Frank

And of course, misleading the American people while doing it:

The House on Thursday passed the Financial CHOICE Act, legislation to overhaul and replace the failed Dodd-Frank Act that has contributed to the worst economic recovery of the last 70 years.

“Every promise of Dodd-Frank has been broken,” said Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), as he read letters from Americans about how they were declined home, automobile and small business loans due to Dodd-Frank’s burdensome regulations. “Fortunately there is a better, smarter way. It’s called the Financial CHOICE Act. It stands for economic growth for all, but bank bailouts for none. We will end bank bailouts once and for all. We will replace bailouts with bankruptcy. We will replace economic stagnation with a growing, healthy economy,” he said.

Okay, first of all: The reason many of those folks are having trouble securing loans is because Dodd-Frank didn't go far enough. Banks are still allowed to do many of the things that brought about the Recession in the first place, like investing capital in money management schemes instead of point-of-use/point-of-sale businesses and product manufacturing and such. What the GOP is doing with this bill will put that on steroids, just like the early 2000's. And it will also expose you and I to major financial risks by sidelining the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau:

Friday News: Tory plan flops

THERESA MAY'S DAYS AS PRIME MINISTER MIGHT BE NUMBERED: May's political position has been seriously weakened after Thursday's election, which she had called to strengthen her hand for Britain's exit talks from the European Union. Instead, the election saw her Conservatives losing their overall majority in Parliament. May, who has resisted calls for her to resign as leader, could now seek to form a government with support from Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party. The Liberal Democrats' leader says Prime Minister Theresa May "should be ashamed" for calling a snap election and joined calls for her to resign. Tim Farron said May had called Thursday's election and gambled with Britain's future "out of sheer arrogance and vanity," adding: "If she has an ounce of self-respect she will resign." He said that May's version of a 'hard Brexit' was rejected by the British people, and that Brexit negotiations should now be put on hold.
http://www.newsobserver.com/entertainment/celebrities/article155241054.html

Carrying the Millennial banner a little too far

You'd have better luck getting oil & vinegar to mix than some of these folks:

A nonprofit, the Millennial Action Project, has organized the caucus along with similar groups in other states and in Congress. The North Carolina caucus is co-led by Rep. Chaz Beasley, a Charlotte Democrat, Rep. Kyle Hall, a King Republican, Sen. Chad Barefoot, a Wake Forest Republican, and Sen. Jay Chaudhuri, a Raleigh Democrat. Beasley, Hall and Chaudhuri kicked off their outreach effort Wednesday with a news conference at the Legislative Building.

“It is important to confront the issues that are important to our youngest citizens,” Chaudhuri said, suggesting that lawmakers may hold public forums on college campuses.

It's also important not to waste time and effort trying to build bridges to nowhere. Or to have your message diluted by a fellow caucus member whose views are diametrically opposed to your own. Chad Barefoot was a Primary Sponsor of the bill (now law) wresting control of our Boards of Election from Governor Cooper, and he's also trying to strip a lot more funding from our traditional public schools and give it to charters:

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