Saturday News: Partisan fingerprints

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HOFELLER'S MAPS USED COLOR CODE TO GUIDE GOP GERRYMANDERING: Christopher Cooper, a professor at Western Carolina University and expert witness for the challengers in the gerrymandering case, took the judges, lawyers and members of the public in court Friday through the Hofeller files. Cooper pointed specifically to two factors in the files that he said showed Hofeller worked hard to make sure the legislative districts would give Republicans an unfair partisan edge. Hofeller color-coded the state’s political leanings, Cooper said, using a traffic light system of green for Republican areas, yellow for tossup areas, and red for Democratic areas. His color-coding went down to the neighborhood level, broken up into individual voting precincts. “It shows that partisanship was front and center,” Cooper said.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article232855167.html

Tillis & Walker: Two sides of the same coin

And both sides couldn't be more wrong:

Sen. Thom Tillis and Rep. Mark Walker were in attendance Wednesday night at President Trump’s rally in North Carolina, where the crowd’s chant of “send her back!” targeting Somali-born Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) rang in the air unchallenged.

On Thursday, Tillis defended the president, saying he had no control over the crowd and equating the event to a rock concert. Walker, a former pastor who has worked in refugee camps, called the chants offensive and said such rhetoric needs to stop before it defines the Republican Party.

Setting aside Two-Faced Tillis for the moment: Walker, who is supposed to be a religious man, is more concerned about the political consequences to his party than he is the safety and prosperity of the ethnic minorities being targeted in chants like this. Just do a mental exercise for me, and finish this sentence: "Such rhetoric needs to stop before it----" If you came up with "leads to violence" or some variation of that, you are a normal human being with an innate concern for the welfare of others. Now back to Tillis, who has latched onto Trump like a Lone Star tick:

Friday News: Virtual failure

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NC SENATE SET TO BOOST ENROLLMENT OF VIRTUAL CHARTERS DESPITE "D" GRADES: The Senate approved a bill Tuesday that would, among other things, get rid of the enrollment cap on one of the state’s two virtual charter schools and allow it to grow its population by 20 percent annually if it so chose. While there was no debate on the Senate floor Tuesday, legislative proponents of the bill have said that the schools attract “struggling students” and shouldn’t have a cap that artificially cuts off the number of such students who can use the resource. Opponents, however, point to the schools’ poor performance and trouble with virtual charter schools in other states as reasons not to let the schools grow easily. The North Carolina Association of Educators and the NC Justice Center sent a letter to Gov. Roy Cooper Tuesday asking him to veto the legislation.
https://www.wral.com/virtual-charter-school-gets-legislative-approval-to-grow-but-opponents-push-for...

NC Senate needs to act quickly on sexual assault bill

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There is simply no excuse for this dereliction of duty:

House Bill 393 passed the state House of Representatives without dissent in April, receiving strong bipartisan support. The measure would change state law to override the decade-old legal precedent on sex with incapacitated victims. The bill would also change the definition of a child’s caregiver and make it illegal to tamper with someone’s drink even if another crime does not occur afterward.

So far, there’s simply been no action in the Senate on HB 393, not even a committee hearing.

They've had time to authorize gambling on horse races, but not sexual assault victims. They've had time to expand the Board that oversees massage therapists, but not sexual assault victims. They've had time to address the speed limit in an exclusive golfing community, but not sexual assault victims. You get the picture, and it's an ugly picture at that. Fix it.

Thursday News: Voucher birds of a feather

BETSY DEVOS AND DAN FOREST PITCH FEDERAL PRIVATE SCHOOL PROGRAM: DeVos made her presentation at a meeting co-chaired by Forest and attended by school-choice advocates. Forest, a Republican, praised the program as a way to customize educational opportunities like his family did when they homeschooled their four children. “Every parent should have the opportunity to select the best educational opportunity for their student, whatever it may be,” Forest said. The program, which DeVos first announced in February, faces an uphill battle in the Democratic-controlled Congress. U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, the top Democrat on the Senate Education Committee, has called the plan “dead on arrival” and a case of DeVos “pushing an anti-public school agenda,” the Associated Press reported.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article232750797.html

Wake County Schools will (once again) address resegregation concerns

Cue the outrage from the "neighborhood school" crowd:

At a retreat last month, board members discussed tracking data to help balance student diversity and bring as many schools as possible within 20 percentage points of the district average. While the board hasn't approved a specific goal yet, the intention is to avoid having schools with extreme differences in poverty and race.

The board continued that discussion Tuesday, led by facilitators with RTI International, who walked the members through discussions about how to define diversity in schools, what data they could examine and how to get community input as they move forward.

Oh, I'm sure they won't have to struggle to get "community input." The fearmongers are probably already at work talking about gangs, and dreams of being accepted at Dartmouth being quashed. But there's one big difference between this effort and the circus that took place ten years ago: Wake County is now neck-deep in charter schools, and scared parents will likely make that switch very soon:

Wednesday News: How very Trump of him

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NEWBY DESCRIBES FELLOW JUSTICES AS A "BUNCH OF AOC'S" AT RALLY: Newby keyed on new Justice Anita Earls in particular, though not by name, bringing up her election last year following a race that drew heavily partisan players and millions in political spending. "I lose sleep at night thinking, what would it be like if we had no one to hold accountable those that want to cause social change through our judicial branch," Newby said. "In 2018, the left put $1.5 million to get their 'AOC' person on the court." Newby's comments were recorded, then sent Tuesday to WRAL News. Newby did not return a message left for him in his chambers at the Supreme Court, but political adviser Paul Shumaker called back, saying the judge was on a family vacation this week. Shumaker said Newby was giving "an example of ideological differences, not direct reference to anyone."
https://www.wral.com/republican-supreme-court-judge-disses-all-six-other-nc-justices/18514145/

Tuesday News: This is how it's done:

NC DEMOCRATS SOUND OFF ON TRUMP'S RACIST TWEETS: “Just when you think he can’t go any lower, he does it. What is he saying? He seems to be saying these aren’t really full-fledged Americans. He’s saying they came from somewhere else or they need to go back to where they came from,” said Rep. David Price, of Chapel Hill, in a telephone interview. “It is racist and it’s demeaning.” Said Charlotte Rep. Alma Adams, who is black, in a statement: “It’s been more than 24 hours since the President’s hateful, un-American tweets, and there has been no apology. Instead, the President has doubled down on his dangerous rhetoric, proving that he is a racist who is unfit to serve.” Democratic Rep. G.K. Butterfield, former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, called it “deplorable, disturbing, divisive and dangerous.” Butterfield, of Wilson, said Trump’s “continuous racist and hateful rhetoric is wrong and only weakens us as a nation. America’s diversity is our strength and should be celebrated.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article232705587.html

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Reason #47 why this Budget had to be Vetoed:

You haven't heard Republicans complaining about this line item being "held hostage," have you? That's because they don't want rank & file voters to know about this, it was included to please an extremist subset of their base.

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