Charges dropped for 4 Graham protesters

A step in the right direction:

A visiting judge dismissed charges on Wednesday against a local NAACP president and three others who defied a protest ban in Graham, a small city in the central Piedmont region of North Carolina, last summer.

Sheriff's deputies arrested Barrett Brown, president of the Alamance County NAACP, after he picked up a "Black Lives Matter" sign during a July 25 press conference and walked across the street to hold it while standing next to a divisive Confederate monument in front of the Historic Courthouse. Three others, including a Democratic member of the county board of elections, walked over to join Brown and were also arrested.

They should have never been arrested in the first place. Barrett and Trina are friends of mine, both dedicated to seeking justice for those who have been marginalized in our County (Alamance). Here's more on the ongoing saga of suppressing peaceful protests:

Thursday News: Laws? What laws?

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TOM FETZER UNDER SCRUTINY FOR CAMPAIGN FUNDRAISER TEXT: “I’m putting together a fundraiser for John Bell the night before the Garden Party on Thursday, April 8 from 5:30-7 at the Cape Fear Club (Men’s Club),” Fetzer’s text message said. “As Tim Moore has stated he is not seeking another term in the House, John is the odds on favorite to be Speaker in 2023. We’ll be having dinner at Quanto Bosso across the street immediately following. Please let me know if you can join us.” State law prohibits lobbyists from holding fundraisers or soliciting contributions for lawmakers during legislative sessions. It also prohibits them from making contributions or collecting them at any time. “I dictated the text into my phone and just sent it,” Fetzer said. “And I didn’t spell check it or anything so I think it just, the transmission got garbled. I wouldn’t have intentionally sent that.” Well at least he didn't blame it on autocorrect.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article250152705.html

NC GOP hypocrisy on Eminent Domain

When government does it it's bad, but private corporations? That's "beneficial.":

The measure would place a constitutional amendment on the 2022 general election ballot for North Carolina voters to change the language to prohibit the taking of private property by eminent domain "except for a public use." It still would allow utility and other service companies to acquire property to connect services for customers.

"We found through the explicit experience of other people, some here in North Carolina, that for benefit can mean a lot of things in the courtroom," Riddell said.

The absolute last person who should be promoting this is Dennis Riddell. Literally dozens of his own constituents are battling with Mountain Valley Pipeline (Southgate) to keep from having their property stolen from them. It's not local government that's threatening them, it's a private, for-profit company. And of course Pope's Puppets are fully on-board with this:

Wednesday News: Bigotry, by any other name

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NC REPUBLICANS PUSH TRANSGENDER SPORTS BILL: On the fifth anniversary of state lawmakers passing HB2, Republican legislators gathered again at the North Carolina General Assembly to push a new bill involving transgender people. “This bill seeks to promote an absolute truth, which is that gender identity at birth counts,” said Rep. Jimmy Dixon, a Duplin County Republican, during a press conference Tuesday. The “Save Women’s Sports Act” would keep transgender girls from playing on girls’ sports teams in school. It’s unclear if that has happened in North Carolina, although the N.C. High School Athletic Association has a framework in place to allow for it. This bill, however, would put a stop to that. “It’s beyond disheartening to see that the North Carolina General Assembly has not learned the lessons of five years ago,” Rebby Kern, the education policy director at Equality NC, said in a press release.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article250144464.html

Tuesday News: Here we go again...

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SENATE REPUBLICANS PUSH FOR ANOTHER TAX CUT, $1.8 BILLION THIS TIME AROUND: Senate GOP leaders plan to push legislation that would decrease the state's income tax rate of 5.25% to 4.99% next year, according to Sen. Paul Newton, a Cabarrus County Republican and finance committee co-chairman. “We have yet another year of excess revenues and we are going to be proposing to the rest of the legislature and the governor that we reduce taxes as a result,” Newton told the AP. “We have incredible headroom because of the economic growth and prosperity in North Carolina." Senate Republicans endorsed a tax package proposed by Newton in a caucus meeting late Monday, according to Lauren Horsch, a spokeswoman for Senate leader Phil Berger. The soon-to-be-filed bill is likely to advance through the chamber, then get incorporated into the Senate GOP’s state budget proposal that could surface in late April.
https://www.wral.com/nc-senate-republicans-to-pitch-more-state-tax-reductions/19589140/

Tuesday Twitter roundup

He doesn't want to find inequity, because that would knock the legs out of his fictional platform.

Mark Meadows is neck-deep in Georgia criminal probe

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Subtlety was never one of his stronger suits:

In late December, as then-U.S. President Donald Trump falsely alleged that rampant voter fraud caused his Georgia election loss, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows made an unexpected visit to an Atlanta suburb, hoping to observe an audit of thousands of voter signatures.

The Georgia secretary of state’s office said it had just 45 minutes notice of Meadows’ arrival in Cobb County, and it barred him from the room where state investigators were examining the absentee ballot signatures.

The term "hubris" comes to mind, but it's more than just that. Meadows spent a great deal of his time in Congress strong-arming fellow Representatives into doing his bidding, outside of normal leadership channels, eventually leading him to try a failed coup of John Boehner. Who has since described Meadows as an "Idiot and anarchist." And it's looking more and more like the hard-press of Georgia's Secretary of State was instigated by Meadows himself, as opposed to just doing what Trump wanted:

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