scharrison's blog

Justice is (finally) coming for Flint residents

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Water is the source of life, or death:

After a criminal investigation that stretched close to two years, prosecutors in Michigan on Thursday announced 41 counts — 34 felonies and seven misdemeanors — against nine officials who once worked in the highest echelons of state government.

Prosecutors said the officials failed to protect the safety and health of the residents of Flint, who were sickened by increased levels of lead and by Legionnaires' disease after the city’s water supply was switched to the Flint River in April of 2014. At least nine people died of Legionnaires’ in the Flint region from June of 2014 through October of 2015; two of the officials on Thursday were charged with nine counts of involuntary manslaughter.

The Flint River was already nasty decades before Michigan officials decided to make the switch. They knew it, and so did everybody else. But they did it anyway:

Chapel Hill passes non-discrimination ordinance

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Equality is not just a slogan:

Tonight the Town Council of Chapel Hill, North Carolina voted to pass an ordinance broadly protecting members of the LGBTQ community from discrimination. The ruling comes in the same week that Hillsborough and Carrboro passed similar ordinances. Municipalities regained the freedom to pass such measures on Dec. 1, 2020, following the expiration of a key prong of HB142.

Kendra R. Johnson, Executive Director of Equality North Carolina, says that it was past time for the vote. "North Carolina has lagged behind the rest of the nation when it comes to protecting LGBTQ folks and creating a culture where our most vulnerable can thrive. The tides are changing, and we hope other cities and towns across our state will be encouraged by these victories and do the right thing for their own citizens in the weeks ahead."

Just gonna throw this out here and see if it sticks: Charlotte has been battling an image problem for some time now, with overzealous policing and support for Trump's RNC debacle. Now would be the perfect time to set an example for the entire Southeast by enacting another NDO to protect all citizens, regardless of their sexual orientation. If the Queen City fails to do this, the ghost of HB2 will be running the show and making the City Council appear ineffectual and timid. Like this kinda does:

Articles of Impeachment for Donald John Trump

High crimes and misdemeanors is putting it lightly:

In the months preceding the Joint Session, President Trump repeatedly issued false statements asserting that the Presidential election results were the product of widespread fraud and should not be accepted by the American people or certified by State or Federal officials. Shortly before the Joint Session commenced, President Trump addressed a crowd at the Ellipse in Washington, DC. There, he reiterated false claims that ‘‘we won this election, and we won it by a landslide’’. He also willfully made statements that, in context, encouraged—and foreseeably resulted in—lawless action at the Capitol, such as: ‘‘if you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore’’.

The evidence is overwhelming that Trump caused the attack to happen. Even before the election he was priming his lunatic followers to violently reject election results if he did not win, but that pre-attack rally was the straw that almost broke democracy's back. A pep rally before the big game, and that game was insurrection:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

I've got one word for you: Solidarity. If Republicans force another bill through the General Assembly to block such ordinances, the Governor needs to Veto that nonsense and Democrats from both houses need to uphold that Veto. And any others he chooses to deploy.

Newby moves quickly to take over court system

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Putting McCrory's darling boy in charge of the courts:

State Supreme Court Chief Justice Paul Newby appointed Andrew T. Heath to lead the state’s Administrative Office of the Courts, according to a North Carolina Judicial Branch press release today. Heath served as a superior court judge with statewide jurisdiction, where he heard both civil and criminal cases. He replaces McKinley Wooten Jr., who was appointed by former Chief Justice Cheri Beasley as the interim director of the Administrative Office of the Courts in 2019 and later took the permanent spot.

Then-Gov. Pat McCrory appointed Heath for a five-year term as a special superior court judge in December 2016 to fill a vacancy, right before leaving office following his loss to Gov. Roy Cooper in the election.

And that appointment was a plum offered to Heath because of his faithful service (dog) behavior. Apparently Newby is "cleaning house" at the admin offices of the court system, including experienced attorneys:

The sheer embarrassment that is Madison Cawthorn

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This little before and after tells you all you need to know:

"Get ready, the fate of a nation rests on our shoulders, yours and mine. Let’s show Washington that our backbones are made of steel and titanium. It’s time to fight."

“I don't feel I had any responsibility for them attacking the Capitol,” Cawthorn said. “It was despicable. They are thugs.”

This guy is so deeply, madly in love with himself he needs to get a room. With a strong lock on it:

Blame the Republican Party for what happened yesterday

As usual, Rob Schofield hits several nails on their heads:

The list of important politicians who have known for years that Donald Trump was and is a criminally dangerous liar, race-baiter and traitor, and a malignant threat to American democracy is a long one.

And still, throughout almost all the last four-plus years, each of these individuals has not just stood passively by as Trump has run roughshod over the Constitution and countless core democratic values and norms, but affirmatively and cynically egged him on and/or aggressively defended him.

Before we talk about insurrection, let's scroll back a few days to see what Republican irresponsibility has accomplished. Trump's threatening phone call to the Georgia Secretary of State was actually set in motion almost a year ago, when Senate Republicans refused to punish him for making a threatening phone call to a foreign government leader. In both cases his personal political gain was at the root of his behavior, and both cases featured abuse of the power of his position. Back to the failed coup:

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