NC GOP

NC's African-American incarceration rate is staggering

This doesn't happen by accident, it's a systemic problem:

13 – North Carolina has the 13th largest prison population in the country

37,104 – The number of people in prison in North Carolina as of May 2018

1 in 40 – The number of Black men in North Carolina who were imprisoned as of 2016

52.9 percent – While Black people made up only 21.5 percent of the state’s adult population in 2016, they accounted for more than half (52.9%) of the state’s prison population

That's roughly 18,550 black North Carolinians behind bars, and the vast majority of them are there for non-violent crimes. And with the penny-pinching associated with public defender funding, many of those currently incarcerated have legitimate Constitutional concerns about their treatment. But I'll let the public defenders themselves explain why that's wrong:

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:

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:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Putting the workers first:

We need to carry these themes all the way to the November election.

Trump whines about NC Gerrymandering ruling during Charlotte visit

He can't understand it of course, but it seems wrong for some reason:

President Trump suggested Friday that there is “something wrong” with a recent decision by a three-judge federal panel in North Carolina that ruled the state’s congressional map was an illegal partisan gerrymander.

“I think it’s unfair with this whole redistricting thing they’re doing in North Carolina,” Mr. Trump told supporters in a Charlotte ballroom. “It’s very unfair you have an election in a little more than 60 days, and they change the district on you? And you’ve gone through primaries.” North Carolina’s population is closely divided between the parties, but the map drawn by the GOP-controlled Legislature produced a 10-to-3 Republican advantage among its U.S. House seats. The court raised the possibility that the state’s 13 districts could be redrawn for the midterm elections. “There has to be something wrong on this,” he added. “I know you guys are working on it.”

Okay, first of all, only one of those "guys" is actually in Congress, the other is a bible-thumping wannabe. But even the guy in Congress really has no standing, because redistricting is done by the state, not the federal government. You know what, I'm just going to stop right there, because arguing with Trump is about as pointless as predicting which way the squirrel will dash when he senses a car approaching. Even when he's almost all the way across the road, that doesn't mean he won't change his mind and run right under your wheel.

Mark Johnson at center of $6.6 million no-bid contract for IPads

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After he and other Republicans were wined and dined in California:

When N.C. Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson announced a $6.6 million purchase of iPads to support early grade literacy in August, it seemed welcome news for North Carolina school districts that have long complained of inadequate state resources.

But a Policy Watch review of state documents has found the multi-million dollar investment, which was not put out for bid with other vendors, came roughly seven months after Johnson and a trio of influential Republican budget-writers in the North Carolina General Assembly convened for an “executive briefing” with Apple reps at their Cupertino, Calif., headquarters. During the two-day meeting last October, the trillion-dollar tech giant spent more than $5,300 on transportation, lodging and meals for six state leaders, including dinner at an upscale Silicon Valley restaurant.

I'm sure the faux Libertarians over at Civitas and John Locke are feverishly trying to come up with an adequate spin over this. But years of whining about Democrats doing "favors" for their friends with (wait for it) no-bid contracts, not to mention the whole Free Market "government picking winners" in the private sector thing, has kinda boxed them into a corner. So they'll probably just ignore it completely, and/or crank out an emotional piece about a little boy who flourished in a charter school. But this issue has exposed, maybe better than anything else, Mark Johnson's inability to perform his job properly, or even legally:

Why it's pointless to try to reason with a Trump supporter

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They no longer live in the real world:

What about the criminal troubles of Trump’s former associates, Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen? “It doesn’t bother me in the slightest,” Duffy said. “I voted for him and I will continue to vote for him.”

What about Trump’s oft-documented failure to tell the truth? “He’s been asked questions that he’s been less than forthcoming about, but he’s not the first politician to do that sort of thing. I suspect his competition in the last election has been as untruthful, if not more so. So that’s not going to change my opinion.”

I get why a lot of Trump supporters are still with him, because (pardon me for saying so) they simply don't have the mental capacity to walk to their mailbox without seriously injuring themselves. But this dude got his JD from UNC School of Law, and apparently passed the Bar exam after that. There is simply no easily identified reason for his near child-like devotion to such an irredeemable person:

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