Wednesday News: Not nearly enough

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GENERAL ASSEMBLY ONLY DEDICATES $56.6 MILLION OUT OF $2 BILLION FOR FLORENCE: Legislators on Tuesday approved $50 million for immediate disaster relief efforts, plus $6.5 million to pay school employees who are out of work, saying that more will be coming in the future. However, that $50 million is a small percentage of the state’s $2 billion rainy day fund, and activists wanted more. The $2 billion in savings is a record amount, which legislators pushed for after Hurricane Matthew in 2016. “Now, I don’t know where you were,” Resea Willis of Brunswick County said on Tuesday. “But where I was, it rained almost 30 inches on us. So if there is a rainy day fund, I’m here to tell you that it’s already raining. We need your help.” There are legal limits on how much the state can spend from that fund in any given year, but activists like Willis said Tuesday leaders should waive those rules since the need is here and now. Going around the rules to exceed the spending cap would require the approval of two-thirds of lawmakers, The News & Observer has reported.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article219360290.html

Tuesday News: Time to de-escalate

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CHAPEL HILL POLICE CHIEF CONCERNED OVER TACTICS USED ON PROTESTERS: Chapel Hill’s police chief says he is greatly concerned by some of the tactics that law enforcement officers have used against protesters on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus. In remarks to the Orange County Human Relations Commission and to reporters Monday night, Chief Chris Blue said he is “particularly saddened” that Chapel Hill police and some other departments committed to social justice “in many ways wound up in the middle of a very complex situation.” Blue suggested it all could have been avoided. “We predicted a year or so ago that the issues around Silent Sam would escalate to where they wound up,” he said. “It’s clear that some tactics have been employed that are unique for this community, and that have not been seen before in this community, and that causes me great concern,” he said.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/counties/orange-county/article219347220.html

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Now the new standard operating procedure:

They would not do that unless there was something in the Legislation they didn't want people to have time to ponder...

Can Republicans be trusted to keep Special Session free of politics?

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The short answer is "no," but with the election coming up, they may have to:

“The currents will be moving under the surface,” said Gary Pearce, a columnist who was a longtime aide to Jim Hunt, a Democrat who was North Carolina’s longest-serving governor. “You can’t take politics out of anything, and this state is so, so polarized, so politicized, and the last eight years have been so angry and bitter, that even in a disaster like this, it’s going to hard for people to set it aside.”

Few state governments in America have been as divided in recent years as the one in North Carolina, where Democrats and Republicans have regularly fought pitched battles over issues like redistricting, voting rights, bathroom access for transgender people, education, and executive authority.

Republicans take note: When your state-level feud is controversial enough to make the New York Times, you might be tempted to celebrate your success. But voters across the board are extremely tired of such partisan gamesmanship, and they will be watching closely at how you handle recovery efforts after this horrible storm. And thanks to the dynamic campaign of Jen Mangrum, Berger's constituents will be watching closely, too:

Monday News: Birds of a feather

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WOODHOUSE GOES AFTER 3RD KAVANAUGH ACCUSER IN TWITTER RANT: “This woman is a criminal,” N.C. Republican Party executive director Dallas Woodhouse tweeted on Sunday, referring to Julie Swetnick, the third woman to accuse Kavanaugh of inappropriate behavior. “One way or another,” he wrote. “She either was a part of some massive criminal conspiracy to facilitate child rape, as an adult. Or more likely, she lied to Congress and her attorney knew it. She should go to prison, period.” Swetnick said in the statement that she saw Kavanaugh at least 10 times “at parties where women were verbally abused, inappropriately touched, made ‘disoriented’ with alcohol or drugs and ‘gang raped,’” according to The New York TImes. Swetnick said in the statement that she remembered seeing boys, including Kavanaugh, “lining up outside a bedroom where ‘numerous boys’ were ‘waiting for their ‘turn’ with a girl inside the room,’’ among other accusations. The Times was not able to independently corroborate Swenick’s claims.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/article219281075.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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CHRISTINE BLASEY FORD'S PROFILE IN COURAGE: About this there can be no debate: Christine Blasey Ford emerged from her ordeal before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee last Thursday as a REAL American hero. Her measured but firm and detailed recollection of an assault at a gathering of high schoolers captured the focus of the nation. She displayed the kind of courage and selflessness that are the stuff of REAL role models. It is a unique and indelible occasion that regardless of Brett Kavanaugh’s fate will have an impact – from the halls of Congress halls to parent-child conversations at the dinner table. Blasey Ford didn’t spend a morning literally in the national spotlight because there was something in it for her. She came to Washington to tell her story, to tell her truth. She said it was her duty to bring information she felt the committee – and the nation – needed to know.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-christine-blasey-ford-s-profile-in-courage-/17882924/

Trump's attack dog Mark Meadows gunning for Rosenstein

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The very definition of a traitor:

House Republicans plan to privately question the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, about discussions last year where he suggested secretly taping President Trump to expose a chaotic White House and removing him from office under the 25th Amendment.

Representative Mark Meadows, Republican of North Carolina and a close ally of Mr. Trump’s, said that if Mr. Rosenstein does not comply with their latest request, he will be subpoenaed to appear before lawmakers.

It's important to understand the gravity of what Meadows and others are attempting to do. They're not just defending Trump against an adversary (Mueller), they are putting our national security at risk by trying to undermine an investigation into a foreign (super)power's efforts to manipulate not only our elections, but also our foreign policy. We have been compromised, repeatedly, and because of Trump's many (many) intellectual shortfalls, and Congress' inability and/or unwillingness to balance that, the only defense we have against these attacks is the Mueller probe. We need to stop calling Meadows' little cabal the "Freedom Caucus," and start calling them what they are, the "Happy To Be Ruled By Russia Caucus":

Saturday News: The Kavanaugh Effect

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IN WAKE OF SUPREME COURT HEARING, MORE WOMEN ARE TELLING THEIR OWN STORIES: The hearings about Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination for Supreme Court are prompting more sexual assault survivors to step forward. One group rallied on the Bicentennial Mall in Raleigh on Friday, not only to speak out against sexual abuse and assault but also to share personal stories. Jennifer Condrey said it's her first time sharing her story publicly. “In my 46 years of life, I have been sexually harassed, touched or threatened more times than I care to count,” she told the crowd. She said she was raped in college. Her attacker was an acquaintance, she said, and her experience is one reason she decided to join the group Friday. The rally was organized by the Carolina Peace Center. Condrey and other attendees said they’ve been following Kavanaugh’s nomination hearing.
https://www.wral.com/after-kavanaugh-testimony-sexual-assault-survivors-share-stories-in-raleigh/178...

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