NC Supreme Court pulls the plug on Voter ID


A transparent attempt to suppress the African-American vote:

The North Carolina Supreme Court on Friday struck down a state voter identification law, ruling that Republican lawmakers acted unconstitutionally to minimize Democratic voters’ power with a law that intentionally discriminated against Black voters.

“We hold that the three-judge panel’s findings of fact are supported by competent evidence showing that the statute was motivated by a racially discriminatory purpose,” Associate Justice Anita Earls wrote for the majority in the 89-page ruling. “The provisions enacted … were formulated with an impermissible intent to discriminate against African American voters in violation of the North Carolina Constitution.”

No doubt Republicans will crank out another bill to take its place, but the NC House will be able to sustain Governor Cooper's inevitable Veto of such. Barring any Legislative shenanigans by the GOP, which we can (must) also expect. Walking on this anti-democracy high-wire is becoming exhausting, to say the least. They also put the final nail into the coffin for the NC GOP's last gerrymandering effort, setting the stage for another map-drawing fiasco:

Shake-ups hit NCDP after dismal election results


Hopefully some energetic and savvy folks will step up:

North Carolina Democrats were optimistic about their chances in the midterm elections. But following disappointing results, party insiders are dwelling on missed opportunities, and a party shake-up is underway. Meredith Cuomo, who had served as the North Carolina Democratic Party’s executive director since 2019, said Saturday in an email to party officials that she had stepped down from the state party’s top staff position. She moved into an advisory role on Dec. 1.

Digital Director Lillian Taylor is serving as state party’s interim executive director while the party searches for a permanent director. The party also announced that it was laying off nine staff members due to financial constraints, a move that’s not uncommon in the wake of elections.

Does this mean the incessant fundraising e-mails might be approaching abatement? Just kidding. But seriously. As far as recruiting new candidates (if you have trouble taking a hint, that was me emphasizing what I view as the most critical reform we need), some good ideas are percolating:

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


SABOTAGE OF MOORE COUNTY ELECTRIC GRID CANNOT BE TOLERATED: Was it an act of discrimination against cross dressers? Was it about trying to fix elections so favored candidates win – regardless of what voters might have said? It needs to stop. Let people, who aren’t hurting others, lead their own lives. Don’t like how an election turned out – there are plenty of avenues to express grievances appropriately – including through the courts. Cooper called the act a "new level of threat" and added “protecting critical infrastructure like our power system must be a top priority. … We will be evaluating ways to work with our utility providers and our state and federal officials to make sure we harden our infrastructure where that’s necessary and work to prevent future damage." It should not go unnoted that many volunteers, businesses and emergency responders have stepped up in Moore County to help and to the extent possible, ease the difficult situation many face. Their generosity is much appreciated. It is unfortunate that such an effort even became a necessity. The disruption to life and commerce in Moore County will -- we hope -– be over shortly and the facilities rebuilt. But the impact of what happened won’t fade as quickly. It remains as an urgent warning that action is necessary now to address the vulnerabilities that became all too apparent. I fear this has already become a cold case. The FBI's "seeking information" poster directs people to contact the Sheriff's office and has their phone number, or any FBI office (no phone number). I have zero confidence this crime will actually be solved.

Snapshot of Arlington's "Missing Middle" study

Beginning with the definition of such:

"Missing Middle” is a term that refers to the range of housing types that fit between single-family detached homes and mid-to-high-rise apartment buildings. Used in this context, “middle” references the size and type of a home, and its relative location – in the middle – on a spectrum of housing types. These housing types are commonly house-scaled buildings, yet with more than one unit. Examples include duplexes, triplexes, townhomes, and others that will be discussed in this report. The cost of these housing types varies based on style, size, location, and market forces. Missing Middle (MM) housing types do not always correlate with a specific income bracket but can be less expensive than other housing options that are larger and take up more land.

It is somewhat inaccurate to equate "missing middle" with middle-class housing (as I have done a few times), but the correlation with median income is not too far off the mark. Understand, much of this study involves "taking the pulse" of existing community members, and you will see a lot of common complaints (traffic, overcrowded schools, loss of green space and canopy). I won't say these are not legitimate complaints, but I will say that many citizens use them as a crutch when they are really concerned about "those people" moving in. Here are the main choices Arlington found to increase the missing middle:

Weekend Wound-Up: Balance of Power

Unless you're been living under a rock, you're aware NC's petty tyrants are trying to grab more power:

Members of the court saw two main problems with Thompson’s argument. The first was the Supreme Court’s own precedent. Justice Elena Kagan ticked off a series of Supreme Court cases that, she said, make clear that state courts, applying a state’s constitution, can constrain the legislature’s power over federal elections.

Chief Justice John Roberts also voiced skepticism about the broad power that Thompson was asserting. Thompson agreed with Roberts that a governor’s veto can limit the legislature’s power under the elections clause, pointing to the Supreme Court’s 1932 decision in Smiley v. Holm, in which the justices upheld the Minnesota governor’s veto of a congressional map enacted by the state legislature. Smiley, Roberts said, is “a pretty significant exception” that “undermines the legislature’s argument that it can do whatever it wants.”

John Roberts might not have been aware of this, but I know Thompson is: NC's Governor cannot Veto redistricting maps. But whatever the case, this ruling won't come until Summer. This, on the other hand, just happened:


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