NCGA

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:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Putting the workers first:

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

Manufacturer of GenX facing lawsuits on all fronts

genxwilmington.jpg

And the latest by SELC for Cape Fear River Watch is a doozie:

The Southern Environmental Law Center is representing Cape Fear River Watch in the lawsuit, which was filed in the US District Court in Raleigh yesterday. The litigation alleges that Chemours and DuPont, its parent company, for decades have illegally discharged the chemicals not only into the Cape Fear River, but also the groundwater and air; these actions violate of the company’s federal discharge permit, the Clean Water Act and the Toxic Substances Control Act, the court filing says.

The SELC and Cape Fear River Watch are asking the court to force Chemours to stop all inadvertent discharges, to declare the company has violated environmental laws, and to assess penalties ranging from up to $37,000 per day to $52,000 day. Over years of violations, the penalties could accumulate to total millions of dollars.

Money is the only language these companies speak, and hefty court judgments are proving to be the only way to stop them from poisoning us. Here's the complaint itself, and it appears the contamination is much worse than has been commonly reported:

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:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

The talk of the town (state):

The timing could have been much better, but the arc of justice follows its own timetable.

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