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Monday News: Give it up already

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PLANE WILL FLY OVER CHAPEL HILL WITH BANNER READING "RESTORE SILENT SAM": For the second time this month, a plane with a Confederate flag and “restore Silent Sam” banner was seen flying in North Carolina. According to a Facebook post, the flag and banner were expected to fly over Chapel Hill- near the University of North Carolina campus, Durham and Raleigh as people commemorated Veterans Day across the state. “[The plane] will be in the air for a couple of hours showing the citizens of North Carolina that all veterans matter and that those brave men who were called to serve their country deserve to be honored,” a Facebook post from the group said. The “Silent Sam” statue has been in storage since it was toppled. Chancellor Carol Folt's administration and the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees have until Dec. 14 to submit a plan for the statue's future to the UNC Board of Governors.
https://www.wral.com/confederate-flag-restore-silent-sam-banner-fly-over-triangle/17987522/

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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VOTERS LOSE, GERRYMANDERING WINS. THIS NEEDS TO STOP: Tuesday 49.7 percent of the state’s voters picked Democrats to send to the U.S. House of Representatives. But only three Democrats (23 percent) actually were elected. “The blue tide did not breach the gerrymandered sea wall that exists because of the broken redistricting process we have in North Carolina,” Bob Phillips, executive director of Common Cause NC, said after the election. “That was what we were watching for. We were waiting to see, does anything change? Gerrymandering does provide a protective sea wall.” Phony rationalizing that Democrats competed in several close races in this election and captured a few more seats, misses the point. What Republicans know – and the evidence shows in the results of this most recent election – is that even when the party put up flawed and lack-luster candidates, the districts are so rigged it is all-but impossible to lose.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-voters-lose-gerrymandering-wins-it-needs-to-stop/17979817/

Saturday News: The Red (for ed) wave

TEACHER INVOLVEMENT IN NC ELECTION LEFT AN INDELIBLE MARK: To kick off the election campaign, NCAE organized the May rally that brought at least 19,000 teachers and public-education supporters to Raleigh. The event caused at least 42 school districts that educate more than 1 million students to cancel classes for the day. The march helped personalize the concerns teachers had, according to Matt Ellinwood, director of the Education and Law Project at the liberal N.C. Justice Center. Instead of just seeing NCAE complaining, Ellinwood said, some voters connected the issue to someone they knew, such as their own child’s teacher. “When people saw it was their own teacher, someone in their own community ... it was very powerful,” Ellinwood said. As part of NCAE’s post-march push to the election, the group encouraged teachers to become involved in the political process to support legislative candidates.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article221371205.html

Friday News: Free market tyranny

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MOUNTAIN VALLEY PIPELINE APPLIES FOR PERMITS ON NC EXTENSION: The Roanoke Times reports the application filed Tuesday asks for a 73-mile extension for the 300-mile pipeline that is being constructed in West Virginia and Virginia. Mountain Valley proposed the $468 million project called MVP Southgate in April. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission application says the project would start at the current project's endpoint in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. It would run to Alamance County, North Carolina and provide gas to local distribution company PSNC Energy. Opponents fear environmental damage, object to the pipeline's use of eminent domain to obtain private land and question if the pipeline is needed. Mountain Valley says it hopes to start construction on the new project in 2020.
https://www.wral.com/mountain-valley-submits-application-for-n-carolina-pipeline/17978614/

Thursday News: Lame Superducks

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GOP LEADERS EYE LAST CHANCE TO PASS VETO-PROOF LEGISLATION: Republican state legislators in North Carolina plan to write more laws this month to take advantage of the last weeks that they hold a veto-proof majority. Legislative leaders have said they planned to take action on voter ID in the November session. Pat Ryan, a spokesman for Senate leader Phil Berger, said Wednesday that staff was just beginning to work on the voter ID and victims’ rights laws, and it was too soon to say what the proposals would look like. The legislature could take up other bills that Republicans want to pass before next year, when Cooper gets the power of vetoes that can stick, said Sen. Floyd McKissick, a Durham Democrat. McKissick said he was prepared for legislation needed for the amendments “and any and all other matters before they lose the supermajority.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article221299965.html

Wednesday News: Say hello to my little Veto

NC DEMOCRATS BREAK SUPERMAJORITIES IN BOTH HOUSES OF GENERAL ASSEMBLY: North Carolina Democrats broke the Republican super-majority in both the state House and state Senate Tuesday night, though some of the races are tight enough to trigger recounts. Going into Tuesday, the GOP held the House 75-45. It looks like it will be 66-54 when a new legislature is seated in January, although a close race in Mecklenburg County could shift one seat. Republicans hold the Senate now 35-15. If unofficial results – with some very thin margins – hold, it will soon be 29-21. Democrats picked up just enough seats to break the Republican super-majority. Sen. Jeff Tarte, R-Mecklenburg, fell by more than 11,000 votes to Natasha Marcus. Sen. Trudy Wade, R-Guilford, also lost a close race, by 763 votes to Michael Garrett.
https://www.wral.com/democrats-break-veto-proof-majority-in-general-assembly/17974495/

Tuesday News: Vote like your life depends on it, because it does

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2018 MID-TERMS THE EPITOME OF GRASSROOTS ACTIVISM: Once pegged as a low-thrill election cycle without major statewide races, North Carolina's campaign season became a high-intensity fight over Republican governance in Raleigh and Washington, and whether Democrats deserve more power. Record numbers voted early before Tuesday's midterms, reflecting the energy and money injected into legislative, judicial and congressional races and ballot questions. State Democrats raised mammoth sums of cash, buoyed by Gov. Roy Cooper's call to "Break the Majority" of the GOP in both the House and Senate this decade. Appraisals of state Republican control stretched to a state Supreme Court race and six referendums that if approved would imprint GOP policies in the state constitution. Three GOP congressional seats were also threatened with close races. Cooper raised at least $7 million for the state Democratic Party, which passed money along to the party's legislative candidates.
https://www.wral.com/n-carolina-elections-got-amped-up-despite-lacking-major-race/17973565/

Monday News: Blaming the victim

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NC "INFLUENCERS" LUMP GOVERNOR COOPER IN WITH LEGISLATURE ON DIVISIVENESS: Overwhelmingly, the NC Influencers — Democrats, Republicans and those with no party affiliation — said the legislature, Gov. Roy Cooper, and Congress should strive for bipartisanship as they craft policies. State politics has been marked by heated partisan battles between the Republican-led legislature and Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper. Cooper has gone to court multiple times to challenge the legislature’s attempts to limit his power. Some major laws pass with only Republican votes. “The governor has the most significant platform in the state to affect the public policy ecosystem,” Stith said. “Gov. Cooper should implement a policy-based initiative focused on the jobs/economy, education and health care. Litigation and railing against the NC legislature may meet political muster, however it does little to address the pressing issues facing the citizens of North Carolina.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/influencers/article221016990.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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WHAT IF EVERYONE VOTED? As a result, voters’ experiences in the same national election will vary significantly by state, to a greater degree than has been true in decades. Underlying that reality is an increasingly partisan split over whether it should be a goal at all in the United States to get more people to vote. Many political scientists say that policies that make voting easier would also make American democracy more representative and less likely to favor the interests of wealthier, older and white voters who typically turn out at higher rates. Broader participation, proponents say, could ease polarization, lift faith in government and dampen criticism that politicians representing the views of a minority of Americans wield the majority of power in Washington. “Equalizing turnout across the population would be the single best thing we could do for our democracy and probably for our country in the near term,” said Adam Bonica, a political scientist at Stanford.
https://www.wral.com/what-if-everyone-voted-/17953734/

Saturday News: The party of fearmongering

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NC REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES PLAY THE CARAVAN CARD AGAINST DEMOCRATS: The ads feature darkened, threatening images of immigrant caravans, dark-skinned people throwing rocks, crowds rioting. Some are federal ads, broadcast and tweeted by everyone from President Donald Trump to congressional candidates. But others are Republican ads in state races, from the North Carolina Supreme Court to the state Senate and House – offices that have no control over federal immigration policy. Steven Greene, a political science professor at North Carolina State University, said the candidates and outside groups airing the ads are betting voters don't know the difference. Other ads for state candidates label opponents as "dangerous" and "extremist." One by a national political action committee claims a vote for any Democrat is a vote for socialism and chaos.
https://www.wral.com/immigration-not-part-of-official-duties-that-s-not-stopping-candidates-from-run...

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