NCGA

NC GOP in hot water with FEC over Mark Meadows spending

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Being a money launderer can be complicated:

This letter is prompted by the Commission's preliminary review of the report referenced above. This notice requests information essential to full public disclosure of your federal election campaign finances. Failure to adequately respond by the response date noted above could result in enforcement action. Additional information is needed for the following 1 item(s):-

The limitation on making coordinated party expenditures on behalf of a House candidate in the State of North Carolina for the 2018 general election is $49,700. Your reports, however, disclose apparent coordinated party expenditures made on behalf of "Meadows, Mark" totaling $85,512.30, which appear to exceed the limitations under 52 U.S.C. §30116 (d) ( formerly 2 U.S.C. §441a(d))

Those expenditures were made in several lumps over a two day period, and it looks like they were for television ads. Which of course he didn't need, because his District (11) had been gerrymandered into an R+14 nightmare. Meaning, this money was likely given to the NC GOP specifically for Meadows, by somebody trying to dodge campaign contribution limitations, giving us one more good reason to totally revamp that system.

GOP bill seeks to undo Obama racial equality in schools effort

Increasing flow in the school-to-prison pipeline:

A bill to repeal local school policies put in place during the Obama administration to address racial disparities in school discipline passed the state Senate Thursday.

In 2014, the federal government sent guidance to school systems around the country, noting wide disparities in suspension and expulsion rates for black students versus white students. Disparities in North Carolina are among the country's highest. Nearly 150 out of every 1,000 black students were suspended from North Carolina schools in 2015-16 compared with 44 white students out of 1,000.

It's no coincidence these stats look eerily similar to incarceration rates for African-Americans, not to mention police shootings. It stems from an unwarranted fear of the dangers posed by young black males, and society's willingness to just throw them away. And frankly, when the damn sponsor of a bill can only provide nonsense like this to justify such a policy shift, it should have never made it out of Committee:

Two bills dealing with Rape are no-brainers

And if they are buried in committee we won't just acquiesce:

North Carolina is the only state in the country where continuing a sex act after being told to stop is not a crime due to a decades-old legal precedent. And while the law says sex with an incapacitated person is rape, a court precedent more than a decade old says the law doesn’t apply if the victim caused his or her own incapacitation through drinking or drug use.

The two bills that would change the pair of legal precedents have so far not had a formal committee hearing, but that could change after the legislature’s spring break.

Probably not the time or place to have this particular discussion, but we're going to have it anyway: Sexual intercourse is (of course) the most intimate stage of a relationship, but it's also extremely hormonal in nature. People react differently under that physiological change, and not always for the better. This provides new information to each of the individuals taking part, and what seemed like a great idea fifteen minutes ago can become repulsive fairly quickly. A good analogy might be: You want to cross the road, and the only car you see is a half-mile away. But as you step out, you realize that car is going faster than you thought, so you decide to wait. Should you be forced to cross anyway, because you initially thought it was safe? Of course not, because you have the freedom to change your mind. And so should women who have previously given consent for sex. And as for the drug and/or alcohol situation:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

The never-ending battle continues:

In case you haven't been paying attention, women are slowly (but surely) losing this war. If you're a state (or Federal) candidate and women's reproductive freedom is not in your top five platform issues, you need to do some re-arranging. Pronto.

Civitas deploys "Red Scare" tactics (again) over teacher rally

Propagandists do what propagandists do:

“This is not a march for Democrats. This is not a march for Republicans. This is a march for our future.” But almost as soon as the new protest was announced, critics attacked the decision.

The conservative Civitas Institute has questioned holding the event on May Day, a day associated with labor union events, and for using “Marxist symbolism” by having a red fist in logos promoting the event. “They want to be disruptive,” said Civitas president Donald Bryson. “It’s not about parents or students. It’s about bringing a socialist labor union movement to North Carolina. That’s why it’s on May 1.”

What Donald Bryson fails to mention, either because he knows it will undermine his argument or (more likely) because he just isn't smart enough to understand: It was a labor movement (Solidarity) that broke the Marxist choke hold on Poland back in the early 1980's, and ushered in democratic reforms that (for the most part) still hold today. If anything, it's people like Berger and Bryson who most resemble those Communist Party leaders in Moscow and Gdańsk who saw the danger of losing their absolute power under such a movement. But Mark Jewell gets it:

NC Senate passes CBD oil bill to treat specific diseases

Hopefully this is the beginning of a movement:

What Senate Bill 168 would do is allow CBD oil treatments for all individuals experiencing autism, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease and mitochondrial disease. The bipartisan bill has two key Senate leaders as primary sponsors in Sens. Ralph Hise, R-McDowell, and Floyd McKissick Jr., D-Durham. State Sen. Paul Lowe, D-Forsyth, is a co-sponsor. The same bill was not acted upon by the Senate Health Committee in 2017.

Both bills say the legislature has determined that current available treatment options “have been ineffective” for autism, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease and mitochondrial disease. “Hemp extract shows promise in treating these chronic conditions,” the legislation says.

I'm glad to see this, but we really need to pursue medical marijuana and higher THC content CBD products if we truly want to combat NC's opioid problem.

Gator in a toxic chemical soup: GenX levels dangerously high in wildlife

The indications of long-term exposure should be very concerning:

Belcher’s team compared alligators from Lake Waccamaw in Columbus County and Greenfield Lake in Wilmington with the latter showing levels of total PFAS more than 10 times higher. They also compared striped bass from the Pamlico Aquaculture Field Laboratory and Lock and Dam No. 1 on the Cape Fear River, with the latter showing levels more than 33 times higher.

Researchers are now, Belcher said, looking at whether the PFAS are affecting the immune systems or liver functions of the animals sampled -- endpoints that have also been identified in humans. Partners in the team’s research include Cape Fear River Watch, N.C. Sea Grant and the N.C. PFAST Network.

Studies like this are extremely important, because right now there haven't been enough to meet the "statistically relevant" watermark for Federal agencies like the CDC to come to any conclusions. No doubt industry has played a role in that dearth of information, something leaders in our state need to get through their thick skulls. Self-regulating doesn't work, no matter how much money it saves from your budgeting. Back to the gators and fish(es):

Tuesday Twitter roundup

What Dan said:

Even better headline: "Andrew Dunn at Longleaf Politics has shed whatever cloak he was wearing on neutrality, and has gone full-on right-wing nutter."

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