Monday News: Police state


GROUPS AGAIN CLASH OVER SILENT SAM, EIGHT ARRESTED: Once the students and members of the New Confederate States of America were both on campus, the groups began yelling back and forth, as those in opposition to the return of the “Silent Sam” statue yelled “Nazis go home" and threatened to pull the statue down again if it returns to campus. Video from the scene showed that the two groups were being kept away from each other with barricades. After about an hour, the members of the New Confederate States of America were willingly escorted off campus by police and the situation escalated as the group of anti-"Silent Sam" demonstrators turned on police, upset that law enforcement protected a group they believe stands for hate. Police from Durham, Chapel Hill and Greensboro held the crowd back as they pushed through and a line of bicycles was used to keep students back.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


NORTH CAROLINA'S BRAND SHOULDN'T BE HOMAGE TO FALSE PAST: Headed east on Hillsborough Street toward the state Capitol, the view dominated by a 75-foot-tall monument – commemorating “Our Confederate dead … First at Bethel, Last at Appomattox.” It was dedicated May 20, 1895 and unveiled by Julia Jackson Christian, granddaughter of Confederate General Stonewall Jackson. It is a relic to what should be a time gone by -- part of the Jim Crow-era propaganda campaign to cloud the realities of defeat in the Civil War. As significant, it was a daily reminder to the freed African-American population that they remained second-class with rights and privileges still subject to those white men wanted to grant. Is our first message to visitors; “Welcome to North Carolina. We were part of the Confederacy”?

NC DMV also received subpoena for voting-related records

But apparently tried to keep it hush-hush:

In a further sign of the sprawling nature of the Justice Department’s effort to collect voting records in North Carolina, prosecutors demanded eight years of information from the state’s Division of Motor Vehicles, according to a copy of the subpoena obtained by The New York Times.

The subpoena to the state D.M.V., like those to the state and county elections boards, was issued on Aug. 31 and set a Sept. 25 deadline for the records. A department spokesperson, who previously denied that the agency had been subpoenaed, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday.

Three things: 1) You're already neck-deep in controversy and bad press over the wait times for Real ID, 2) NC-based journalists are not likely to appreciate being scooped on this by the New York Times, and 3) Your continued refusal to acknowledge (publicly) your department has been subpoenaed makes you look foolish and timid as a new-born kitten, especially considering the Attorney General has officially challenged these subpoenas. Here's what the Feds want from the DMV:

Saturday News: Canceled fishing expedition


AG JOSH STEIN STANDS UP TO U.S. ATTORNEY'S OVERREACH ON VOTING RECORDS SUBPOENA: Stein, in a letter to the U.S. attorney’s office, asked the office to withdraw the subpoenas and issue new ones “that are appropriately tailored to documents relevant to your inquiry.” Stein said if the matter is not resolved by Monday, Sept. 10, “we will have no option but to request judicial relief.” The subpoena requested from the state board all voter registration applications, federal write-in absentee ballots, federal post card applications, early-voting application forms, provisional voting forms, absentee ballot request forms, all “admission or denial of non-citizen return forms,” and all voter registration cancellation or revocation forms from Jan. 1, 2010 through Aug. 30, 2018. More than 15 million documents would have to be turned over, said Andy Penry, the chairman of the state board.

Alex Jones banned from Twitter, but lunatic fringe lives on


No more yelling "fire!" in a crowded theater:

Twitter has permanently banned the accounts of right-wing conspiracy theorist and radio host Alex Jones and InfoWars for violating the company's abusive behavior policies, the company said Thursday. The ban appears to be related to a heated exchange between Jones and a CNN reporter Wednesday, which Jones live-streamed on the Twitter-owned video service Periscope.

"We took this action based on new reports of Tweets and videos posted yesterday that violate our abusive behavior policy, in addition to the accounts' past violations," the company said in a series of tweets. "We wanted to be open about this action given the broad interest in this case."

You can place me firmly in the "good job" column on this. Usually not a big fan of censorship, but Jones has proven himself a danger to the public, especially after the crazy "Pizzagate" incident where an (of course) NC citizen grabbed his guns and assaulted a DC restaurant looking for an imaginary child sex operation. Unfortunately, Jones is not a "Lone" nut-job. A lot of the more dangerous elements in the White Supremacy crowd are incubated on virtually unregulated platforms like 4Chan, and I was pleased my local newspaper reprinted this deep dive on the subject originally published by WaPo:

Friday News: Small comfort


EASTERN DISTRICT EXTENDS DEADLINE FOR VOTER RECORDS TO JANUARY: North Carolina’s state board of elections and 44 counties will not have to turn over voting records until after the November elections and will be able to redact any information on how someone voted, an assistant U.S. attorney said in a letter to the state board on Thursday.The letter comes less than a week after a federal prosecutor’s office, at the request of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, subpoenaed extensive voting records from the state board of elections and the board of elections from 44 counties, including Wake, in the eastern part of the state. They demanded the records, including state records on all 100 counties, by Sept. 25. The state board said its subpoenas would encompass more than 15 million documents, while the county subpoenas would produce more than 2.3 million ballots “traceable” to a voter, causing alarm among interest groups, members of Congress and voters.

Poll reveals massive ignorance about Constitutional Amendments

And that is exactly what Republicans are hoping for:

A new poll from Elon University asked registered voters around the state about the six proposed constitutional amendments that will be on the ballot this year. The result: Most people don’t know much about the amendments, and in some cases people think the amendments would have the opposite effect of what they would really do.

“It seems to me that a lot of voters are going to be making a permanent decision that could impact North Carolina for decades to come, based on pretty limited information,” said Jason Husser, the director of the Elon Poll.

It's that "opposite effect" thing that really gets under my skin. Republicans have mastered the art of rhetorical misdirection, as was clearly demonstrated by the campus "free speech" act that punished students for speaking in opposition to right-wingers. Here are the numbers:

Thursday News: Winds of change

NEW POLL HAS LINDA COLEMAN LEADING GEORGE HOLDING BY ONE POINT: Republican Rep. George Holding’s campaign said last month that polling showed he was narrowly trailing in his re-election bid. Now Democratic challenger Linda Coleman has a poll of her own with a similar finding. A new poll, paid for by the Coleman campaign, shows Coleman leading Holding by a single percentage point, 45 percent to 44 percent. Libertarian candidate Jeff Matemu is polling at 5 percent and 6 percent of voters are undecided, according to the poll, which the campaign provided first to The News & Observer. Coleman, a former Wake County commissioner, has lost two bids for lieutenant governor to Dan Forest, including in 2016. Holding holds an edge in fundraising, though an outside group has been running ads hitting Holding over health care. With the race tightening, the district is getting more national attention in the battle to win control of the House.

ICE subpoenas voting records from 44 NC counties, including actual ballots

**updated: This is the same Grand Jury that indicted 19 non-citizen voters a few weeks ago:


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