Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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KEEP LEGISLATIVE ANTICS OUT OF ABORTION BILL VOTE: Legislative antics are always present in some capacity, but this round is downright cruel. Remember, the legislators in Raleigh work part-time. They have jobs separate from legislating, don’t make much money from it and have to commute from all over the state. They also have personal lives and families. One such legislator is Sydney Batch, who represents District 37 in Wake County. During her campaign last year, she was diagnosed with cancer. Despite that, she stayed in the race and defeated an incumbent in a district difficult for Democrats to win. Batch is recovering from surgery for her cancer, but still made it to vote. Then Moore rescheduled it. Another representative left her husband, who is currently in the hospital, to appear for the same vote. Moore rescheduled it. How long can this go on? To bring legislators dealing with real, personal issues back and forth on a vote that may never occur is cruel and serves no purpose for North Carolinians.
https://www.salisburypost.com/2019/05/23/kirk-kovach-keep-legislative-antics-out-of-abortion-bill-vote/

Tillis & Tucker bump heads trying to brown-nose Trump

And it's only going to get worse over the next 10 months:

“Like other conservatives I had my doubts about Mr. Trump,” Tucker said. “Without a policy record, I questioned whether he would govern as a conservative. . . . I could not be more delighted, and frankly amazed, at how he has transformed this country in the last two years.”

Tillis allies don’t buy it. “It is laughable that a charlatan like Garland Tucker thinks he can make this race into a question of who can better support our booming economy under President Trump,” said Jack Pandol, a spokesman for the Senate Leadership Fund. “North Carolina needs a senator who will work with the president – not one . . . now lying to cover his tracks.”

Oh, the irony. Tucker is lying alright, but he's lying about Trump's "transformation" of the country. He has brought us about halfway to the United States depicted in Idiocracy, and clawing back from that is going to be damn near impossible. Also, I kinda hate to see Carter Wrenn devolve once again:

Saturday News: Judicial remedy

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JUDGE FORMALLY STRIKES DOWN NC'S 20-WEEK ABORTION BAN: A federal judge has formally issued his decision striking down North Carolina's ban on abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy, except in a medical emergency. U.S. District Judge William Osteen signed his judgment dated Friday — 60 days after issuing a memorandum explaining why he declared the law unconstitutional. He wrote in March the 20-week limit prohibited some abortions before a fetus could live outside the womb. The judgment means some women could now obtain abortions later but prior to viability. Osteen wrote the 60-day delay was designed in part to give legislators time to replace the law. That hasn't occurred.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article230814299.html

Representative Sydney Batch deserves a medal

And Tim Moore deserves a swift kick in the pants:

Batch underwent a mastectomy in early May after being diagnosed with breast cancer last year. She had planned to take at least three weeks off to recover, but was forced to come back to work early after she and other Democrats realized their GOP colleagues were trying to capitalize on her absence in order to pass this bill. “Moore is well aware of what’s happening with me and that I’m dealing with ongoing treatment,” she added. “I have not asked for a lot.”

Clemmons and Jackson, who is minority leader of the state House, said Batch, a working mother of two, was in pain and visibly shaking when she showed up for the last few House sessions. Clemmons has driven Batch to and from sessions since she’s still too weak to drive herself.

I hesitate to discuss the details (which I don't know), but odds are it's not just the surgery she's dealing with. There's Chemo and radiation to consider, both of which can be hell to deal with. Make no mistake, the scheduling and then postponing of this override vote is an attempt to wear her down physically, and Tim Moore should be ashamed of himself:

Friday News: Long overdue

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GOVERNOR COOPER ISSUES EXECUTIVE ORDER FOR PAID PARENTAL LEAVE: Starting Sept. 1, new mothers will get eight weeks paid leave after giving birth with full pay. Fathers and other partners will get four weeks, as will parents who adopt or take in a new foster child. The benefit kicks in after an employee has been with the state for one year. Before this, state policy required employees to take sick leave or vacation to spend time with a new child, and they could also take up to three months of unpaid leave. "During this important bonding time, our employees will no longer have to choose between their career and their child," Cooper said at a ceremony to sign the executive order. Some 56,000 state employees at state agencies under the governor will be eligible.
https://www.wral.com/cooper-boosts-parental-leave-for-56-000-state-employees/18406405/

Cleansing higher education of White Supremacist past

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Monuments to the Ku Klux Klan should be purged entirely:

In 2015, as Black Lives Matter gained prominence as a national movement, trustees were impelled to act. Students held protests and demanded that Saunders Hall be renamed Hurston Hall in honor of the celebrated author Zora Neale Hurston, who is said to have attended classes at the university. The vote to rename the hall was not unanimous.

But after a review, the trustees conceded that university leaders in 1920 made a mistake in citing Mr. Saunders’s role as head of the K.K.K. in North Carolina as a qualification.

That last sentence is a doozie. But it also brings up an important question, that may have some bearing on how other buildings are evaluated: If the KKK had not been mentioned in that document, would they still have renamed the building? Or was that particular acknowledgment just too blatant for the Trustees to ignore? There are numerous other historical sources verifying that Saunders was at least one of the Grand Poo-Bahs of the Klan back then; hopefully that would have been enough to strike his name, because there are likely other situations where there isn't a boldly typed sentence to rely on. Here's some historical context:

Thursday News: Toxic ideas

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NC REPUBLICAN BILL WOULD ALLOW TVS AND COMPUTERS BE DUMPED IN LANDFILLS: “This is like a bad penny that keeps turning up,” Sen. Mike Woodard, a Durham Democrat, said Wednesday. The worry about electronics in landfills is not just about the space they use, but toxic heavy metals they contain. Michael Scott, director of the Waste Management Division at the state Department of Environmental Quality, said the department would prefer changes to the current electronics recycling program rather than lifting the ban on landfill disposal. The recycling market has ups and downs, he said, but there’s still a market for materials from electronics. The state has six major recyclers, Scott said.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article230697364.html

Berger & Moore testify in racial and gender bias lawsuit

Whitewashing your staff can be a costly venture:

House Speaker Tim Moore answered questions on Tuesday in a Wake County courtroom from lawyers for ex-Fiscal Research Division director Marilyn Chism and for the state. Senate leader Phil Berger testified on Monday.

Chism is a black woman who alleges she was forced out of the job after two years in 2011. Chism, who worked for the General Assembly for 13 years, contends she was pushed out by white men who ran the House and Senate, even as white men in other legislative divisions kept their leadership positions. She wants the federal judge hearing the case to declare gender or racial bias occurred and to award her monetary damages.

Republicans really don't have a leg to stand on here. They fired her either because she was a black woman, or because her research developed estimates that laws they wanted to pass were too costly to justify. Think about it. Republicans whined for years (decades?) that Democrats were not fiscally cautious enough, and ended up overspending because they failed to properly project costs. But one of the first things they do after taking over the NCGA is fire somebody for doing just that:

Wednesday News: Safe zone?

GOP EXPELLED JOURNALISTS TO CREATE LOUNGE WHERE LAWMAKERS CAN HIDE: After kicking the media out of their longtime press room in the Legislative Building and banishing them to a corner of the basement, officials have finally converted the former press room into a legislative hideaway. Reporters have dubbed the couch- and art-filled room, which can only be accessed by lawmakers and isn't open to the public, the "teachers lounge." Outside of the lounge, not much occurred Tuesday as the House didn't hold session and the Senate took up only a couple of bills. One issue creating a rift among elected officials, however, is a proposed casino near Charlotte that the South Carolina-based Catawba Indian Nation wants to build. North Carolina Republican U.S. Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis are co-sponsoring a bill in Congress to make it happen, while 38 state senators have written to a U.S. Senate committee to oppose the measure.
https://www.wral.com/tuesday-wrap-teachers-lounge/18402302/

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