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Sovereign Citizen Nutters Join Up With #ReOpenNC Nutters

Some of the Facebook groups I’m on have been monitoring the #ReopenNC Facebook pages and the pages of individuals associated with the movement. Besides the talk about violent threats, which have caused a split in the movement and led to near riots at the Michigan legislature and the NC Governor’s mansion, it looks like the extremist vortex of gun rights psychos, antivaxxer conspiracy theorists, evangelical zealots, and Karens who have to get their tips frosted during a worldwide health crisis have been joined by deranged Sovereign Citizens.

Is #ReopenNC an Illegal PAC?

Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve seen that the supposedly grassroots ReopenNC Facebook group is not some grassroots movement of disgruntled citizens, but an astroturfed movement backed by money from the DeVos and Koch political dark money war chest.

Now, with details trickling out that ReopenNC is getting “generous donors” for chartered buses for protests and legal representation, we have a “behind the scenes” report from Politico showing that this entire effort can be traced back to one goal - a last ditch effort by the Trump campaign to rally his base - an effort based on polling of white suburbs in Trump battleground states.

Is Art Pope Behind #ReOpenNC?

Earlier in the week, we saw a ragtag group of shrill evangelicals, right-wing “Don’t Tread on Me” freedom mongers, and air-headed anti-vaxxers and multi-level quack health promoters create a stir on Facebook and lobby the NC legislature to “reopen” NC for business in the middle of a pandemic - a call for reopening that is coming at a time when the US has been hitting new records for daily deaths from the crisis - 4,591 people died Thursday, bringing the US total to more than 33,000 killed by the pandemic.

As the week unfolded, it became clear that #ReOpenNC wasn’t some local grassroots effort - similar right-wing groups in Alabama and Texas, for example, and Fox News pundits rallied a drumbeat for “getting back to business, with President Trump announced a “plan”, if you can call it that, for “reopening America” on Thursday.

Buried in an NBC News story about the protest in Michigan, was a clue on what might actually be going on here.

ReOpen protestors at Michigan state capital

Recommended reading: The return to "normal"

Since the mysterious so-called "ReopenNC" movement and Civitas has been pressing the issue with Governor Cooper, it's time for a reality check.

Just what will it mean to get back to "normal"? When will it happen? What can "normal" look like?

The Atlantic gives an opinion on what to expect, informed by scientists and researchers and not social media memes and political slogans.

WRAL Not Reporting Full Story on Franklin Graham's COVID-19 Stunt in New York

Recently, I highlighted the controversy surrounding Franklin Graham's publicity stunt, setting up a Samaritan's Purse outreach effort in Central Park under the guise of a "field hospital".

WRAL seems to be playing along with Graham's publicity machine, reproducing little blurbs about the makeshift "hospital" in their Coronavirus update every few days.

Dear Charlotte ...

... still think it's a great idea to host the GOP National Convention?

Trump Says 'No Way' He Will Cancel the RNC in Charlotte, Despite Coronavirus

The gun-humping and associations with every racist and violent neo-Nazi and neo-Confederate group in the country wasn't enough for you to turn away business from the RNC. COVID-19 isn't going away anytime soon, based on the estimates I'm seeing.

Will a deadly disease make you change your mind about hosting this hot mess?

Dear Burr and Tillis: What’s the Worst That Can Happen?

Dear Senators Burr and Tillis:

We get it.

You’re really wishing this whole impeachment thing would disappear. You just want to get on with your life, running for office or slapping new GOP bumperstickers on your Volkswagon Thing as you go about … well … whatever it is you’ve been doing on Capitol Hill these past few years.

But, the impeachment hearings - and the revelations surrounding it - aren’t going away. Not now and not for several months and perhaps past 2020.

Flood of Fake Conservative News Sites Targets NC

The Columbia Journalism School has been investigating the proliferation of “local news” sites that are mostly machine generated, authored by free-lancers in Africa or the Philippines, and generously sprinkled with hard-fine far-right extremist talking points on nixing public education or supporting Trump policies.

The researchers, outline their findings and methodology in a new article.

On the surface, the sites seem to have no apparent connection to each other, but the researchers found links between them with IP address registrations and shared analytics IDs. Altogether, there are at least 450 of these sites targeted at local communities around the country or specialized interests, such as farmers or attorneys.

Who’s behind these sites? What are they?

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