Wednesday News: Adjourned

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NC SENATE CALLS IT QUITS AFTER OVERRIDE FAILURES: The vote on the teacher raises bill was 28 to 21, which failed to reach the supermajority required for an override. There was no vote on the state budget covering the fiscal year that is now more than half over, including teacher raises and other spending and tax policies. The Senate adjourned without ever calling up the budget, instead sending it back to committee. The Senate also upheld Cooper’s veto on a bill dealing with regulations. The state has been operating on the last budget, which rolled over, along with several mini budget bills that became law over the past several months, including raises for most state employees. Berger said Medicaid expansion is holding up the budget. Cooper has demanded Medicaid expansion to cover more of the uninsured.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article239272053.html

Tuesday News: 21 Strong

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SENATE DEMOCRATS ARE UNIFIED IN SUPPORT OF COOPER'S BUDGET VETO: With a potential vote on the governor’s state budget veto looming in the state Senate on Tuesday, none of the four Democratic senators who initially voted for the budget in June are planning to support an override of the veto. That means Republicans likely won’t get the one vote they need to pass the budget over Gov. Roy Cooper’s objections if all senators are present. One of the four “yes” votes in June — Sen. Floyd McKissick, D-Durham — has resigned to take another government position, and the other three told the NC Insider last week that they expect to stand with the governor. “I’ll vote to sustain the governor’s veto,” said Sen. Ben Clark, D-Hoke. “I filed a bill to expand Medicaid in North Carolina; that is one of my top priorities and a priority of the governor as well. Until we sit down and negotiate that, I see no reason to vote to override the veto.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article239240543.html

Tuesday Twitter roundup

The way forward:

This is a great group of young Dems, highly energetic and smart as a whip. Looking forward to seeing them in action.

It's not real: Australia burning image goes viral

I had my suspicions the first time I saw this:

As wildfires continue to burn millions of acres of land in Australia, some social media users are misusing a digital visualization to draw attention to the disaster. One image published on Facebook on Jan. 5 claims to show a satellite view of Australia provided by a NASA satellite.

"Pray for us please," the user wrote alongside the image, which shows bright orange spots where fires are purportedly burning across the continent.

No doubt the fires in Australia are devastating, and may even push some species into extinction. But the proliferation of inaccurate images and news stories may be even more dangerous, if it pushes us to the point we can't believe anything that is reported. Definitely related:

Monday News: Tom's turn

STEYER VISITS MCDOUGALD TERRACE, SAYS CONDITIONS ARE "CRUEL": Conditions at McDougald Terrace in Durham are an example of systematic “cruelty” that has to be addressed by the U.S. government and its leaders, Democratic presidential hopeful Tom Steyer said. Steyer, a billionaire turned champion of Democratic causes, visited the Triangle this weekend including the public housing complex where residents have evacuated after carbon monoxide concerns, and where at least two children have died from causes that haven’t so far been publicly identified. “I went to McDougald Terrace to actually see what was going on,” he said Sunday. “To talk to some of the people who are there, some of the people who lived there and some of the people are leading the movement to repair those projects.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/election/article239168763.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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DISHONEST LEADERSHIP LEAVES OUR GOVERNMENT MISMANAGED: Don’t be distracted. This is not about good or bad; conservative or liberal policies. This is not about Democrats or Republicans. This is about sound management, doing the job, the security of the nation. This is about Donald Trump’s character. It is about his inability, not simply failure, to tell the truth and accept its reality. Without the truth it is impossible to earn the trust to be a leader. Leaders who lack trust cannot manage. The current white-hot crisis with Iran and Iraq is the latest example. An impulsive action – the assassination of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, commander of Iran’s security and intelligence forces – and the national security crisis that has ensued. Trump’s threats, including tweets about targeting Iranian cultural sites, result in advisers forced to follow deflection and justification. In this case, the Pentagon didn’t even try. In a starkly unequivocal pronouncement, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the “laws of armed conflict” prohibit attacking cultural sites and the armed forces had no plans to do so – despite the president’s declaration.
https://www.wral.com/editorial/18875376/

Marx and the Social Conflict conundrum

We are not nearly as evolved as we think we are:

The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles. Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild-master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary re-constitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes.

It is plainly evident that Marx was extremely accurate in his assessment of the natural social order that will emerge if left to its own development. We have numerous examples of this in the 21st Century, nearly all of them the result of failed states. Neo-feudalism is actually the best they can hope for, and that is something everybody needs to keep in mind when discussing "revolution" and the redesign of American society. Marx was right, but as scientists will tell you identifying a problem is worlds away from solving said problem. Conflict of this sort is ancient; it was (is) not the result of a particular form of government, or economic system, or ideological bent. It is primal, and cannot be eradicated through violence:

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