‘Silent Sam’ and the ACTBAC NC Bait and Switch

This morning, after the protest by Burlington, NC-based hate group ACTBAC NC, I’ve seen some of my liberal friends on social media wringing their hands and wondering if there’s a way to diffuse all of the tension around the Confederate statues by keeping them in place with historical markers or other solutions that keep them in place while acknowledging the history.

What many liberals and moderates fail to understand is that they’re being played by white supremacist groups on this.

Friday News: Back in court

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3 JUDGE PANEL WILL HOLD HEARING TODAY ON RENEWED CHALLENGE TO GOP AMENDMENTS: Gov. Roy Cooper has asked the court to keep the state from finalizing ballots that include a pair of amendments to shift appointment powers from his office to the General Assembly. The Republican legislative majority backs the amendments, which were rewritten in a recent special session to satisfy the court after the judges agreed with Cooper that their initial language was too misleading to go before voters. The Cooper administration argued in a complaint filed Thursday that the new language voters would see on the November ballot remains unfair. "They are false," the filing states. "They are misleading. They are incomplete. And they are argumentative. Ultimately, these ballot questions do not fairly advise the voters of what is at stake or facilitate an intelligent, independent decision on the proposed amendments."
https://www.wral.com/court-hearing-friday-on-constitutional-amendments-ballot/17807094/

Mark Johnson at center of $6.6 million no-bid contract for IPads

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After he and other Republicans were wined and dined in California:

When N.C. Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson announced a $6.6 million purchase of iPads to support early grade literacy in August, it seemed welcome news for North Carolina school districts that have long complained of inadequate state resources.

But a Policy Watch review of state documents has found the multi-million dollar investment, which was not put out for bid with other vendors, came roughly seven months after Johnson and a trio of influential Republican budget-writers in the North Carolina General Assembly convened for an “executive briefing” with Apple reps at their Cupertino, Calif., headquarters. During the two-day meeting last October, the trillion-dollar tech giant spent more than $5,300 on transportation, lodging and meals for six state leaders, including dinner at an upscale Silicon Valley restaurant.

I'm sure the faux Libertarians over at Civitas and John Locke are feverishly trying to come up with an adequate spin over this. But years of whining about Democrats doing "favors" for their friends with (wait for it) no-bid contracts, not to mention the whole Free Market "government picking winners" in the private sector thing, has kinda boxed them into a corner. So they'll probably just ignore it completely, and/or crank out an emotional piece about a little boy who flourished in a charter school. But this issue has exposed, maybe better than anything else, Mark Johnson's inability to perform his job properly, or even legally:

Thursday News: Ground Zero

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CHAPEL HILL POLICE WORRIED ABOUT POTENTIAL CLASH DURING SILENT SAM DEMONSTRATIONS: Chapel Hill and UNC police are preparing for the possibility of another demonstration on campus Thursday evening. The university sent an email to students and staff, encouraging them to stay away from McCorkle Place, where Silent Sam was toppled one week ago. The town followed the example by asking residents to stay away from Franklin Street. Police are planning for violence Thursday, as two opposing groups are expected to rally -- one against Silent Sam and a group from Alamance County that wants to see Silent Sam back on its pedestal. Flyers have circulated from counter protesters, finding Silent Sam a memorial of racism that shouldn't be on campus.
https://www.wral.com/-stay-away-chapel-hill-police-issue-warning-expect-more-silent-sam-protests-ton...

Why it's pointless to try to reason with a Trump supporter

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They no longer live in the real world:

What about the criminal troubles of Trump’s former associates, Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen? “It doesn’t bother me in the slightest,” Duffy said. “I voted for him and I will continue to vote for him.”

What about Trump’s oft-documented failure to tell the truth? “He’s been asked questions that he’s been less than forthcoming about, but he’s not the first politician to do that sort of thing. I suspect his competition in the last election has been as untruthful, if not more so. So that’s not going to change my opinion.”

I get why a lot of Trump supporters are still with him, because (pardon me for saying so) they simply don't have the mental capacity to walk to their mailbox without seriously injuring themselves. But this dude got his JD from UNC School of Law, and apparently passed the Bar exam after that. There is simply no easily identified reason for his near child-like devotion to such an irredeemable person:

Wednesday News: Defending the indefensible

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REPUBLICANS VOW TO TAKE THEIR GERRYMANDERED MAPS TO SUPREME COURT: The U.S. Supreme Court should quickly rule against a lower court that on Monday found North Carolina’s Congressional districts are illegally gerrymandered, the state’s top legislators said Tuesday afternoon. “In yesterday’s decision, the three-judge panel forecasted voiding the results of primaries and canceling the November election for Congress,” their statement said. “Such an action would irreparably disrupt campaigns from both major parties across the state that have been organizing, raising money and trying to win over voters.” Janet Hoy, co-president of the N.C. League of Women Voters, said Tuesday that “we will continue the fight for equal representation through fair maps” — even at the Supreme Court, which has taken strong positions against racial gerrymandering but has so far punted on the question of partisan gerrymandering.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article217455890.html

Tuesday News: Pushing the envelope?

GOP CHAIRMAN ROBIN HAYES EAGER TO VIOLATE CAMPAIGN FINANCE RULES: “This is an envelope. You have heard things that should inspire you to dig deep tonight. But federal law says you can only give, you and your wife, $5,200 to David Rouzer,” Hayes says in the recording. Rouzer then corrects him to say the individual federal spending limit is $5,400 per year. "But you can take this envelope, put money in here and give it to your friend and citizen, Robin Hayes, who happens to be party chair and I can take unlimited money and put it to his campaign, legally,” Hayes said. The NC Democratic Party is likely to file a complaint, according to spokesman Robert Howard. “These comments clearly show that the Republican Party is earmarking funds for specific candidates, a serious violation that should be fully investigated,” Howard said in an email.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article217160285.html

Tuesday Twitter roundup

The talk of the town (state):

The timing could have been much better, but the arc of justice follows its own timetable.

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