Saturday News: Unconscionable

DURHAM LANDLORD REFUSES RENTAL ASSISTANCE, WANTS TO EVICT 150+: “This was an act of God, something out of everyone’s control,” Jones said. “He needs to accept this assistance. Like half of us won’t make it, if he doesn’t take this assistance.” Of the 160 tenants that have applied for aid, he’s only completed his portion of the application for two of them, which are under review by the county. He told the magistrate in court last week multiple times that’s he not accepting aid from the program. Durham’s program is funded by rental assistance in the December stimulus from Congress. Federal guidelines allow aid to go directly to tenants if landlords refuse after a reasonable effort is made to convince them otherwise. But the county said the best way to keep the aid disbursement accountable is to require landlords to participate. The County has a responsibility to those tenants, and shouldn't allow this jerk to control the process like this.

JOHNSTON COUNTY TAKES ANTI-CRT TO THE NEXT LEVEL (OF IGNORANCE): Johnston County teachers could be disciplined or fired if they teach that American historical figures weren’t heroes, undermine the U.S. Constitution in lessons or say that racism is a permanent part of American life. The Johnston County Board of Commissioners is withholding $7.9 million until the school board passes a policy preventing Critical Race Theory from county classrooms. School leaders deny that Critical Race Theory is being taught. But to get the money, the school board unanimously approved Friday an updated policy on how history and racism will be taught. “When we all work together we can accomplish good things for kids, and this is one of those moments I truly believe has happened,” school board vice chairwoman Terri Sessoms said at Friday’s specially called virtual meeting. Good things for white kids, maybe.

COOP FORCES DUKE ENERGY TO WATER DOWN THEIR BILL: Legislative leaders and Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper announced Friday agreement on an energy bill that aims to meet Cooper's goals on greenhouse gas reductions and gives dominant utility Duke Energy the ability to seek multiyear rate increases. The measure, which is expected to clear the Republican-controlled legislature next week, removes most of the prescriptive actions that House Republicans laid out in an earlier version of the bill that passed the chamber in June. Instead the new bill, largely negotiated between the Cooper administration and senators from both parties, directs the state Utilities Commission to come up with a roadmap by the end of 2022 on how to move toward goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions that align with Cooper’s Clean Energy Plan. That plan seeks to reduce carbon dioxide levels from energy producers by 70% compared to 2005 levels by 2030, and achieve zero-net CO2 emissions by 2050. The House plan would have contributed to a 62% reduction in power-sector greenhouse gas emissions by the end of the decade, according to a commission estimate.

BRETT "I LIKE BEER" KAVANAUGH TESTS POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS: Justice Brett Kavanaugh has tested positive for the coronavirus, a Supreme Court spokeswoman said Friday. She said the justice had been fully vaccinated since January and that he was not showing symptoms of the virus. Kavanaugh, 56, was tested Thursday before the ceremonial investiture of Justice Amy Coney Barrett at the court Friday morning, the spokeswoman, Patricia McCabe, said in a statement. “Justice Kavanaugh’s wife and daughters are also fully vaccinated, and they tested negative on Thursday,” McCabe said. “As a precaution, Justice and Mrs. Kavanaugh will not attend Justice Barrett’s investiture this morning.” All of the justices were tested Monday morning before their private conference to discuss the petitions seeking review that had piled up over their summer break. It was not immediately clear how the development would affect in-person arguments at the court, which were to resume Monday after a hiatus of more than 18 months. The arguments will not be open to the public, but the court will provide live audio. The lawyers arguing before the court are required to be tested the morning before they argue.

SHE JUST CAN'T ACCEPT THAT HER PARTY IS FULL OF IDIOTS: Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) gave an impassioned speech Friday on how Alaska’s topping the list of growing infection rates for the coronavirus has strained the state in unforeseen ways, and she decried protesters comparing mask mandates to actions by the Nazis. Addressing a relatively empty Senate chamber, Murkowski said she had planned to return home this weekend, but most of the scheduled events and meetings had to be held virtually because of the virus that causes covid-19. “We are leading the nation right now in our covid rates,” Murkowski said, noting the drop in the Lower 48. “We’re separated enough geographically, but through the advantages of air travel and road travel, we mix, we mingle, we get around, and the virus knows no bounds.” “If Alaska were a country, it would be the nation with the world’s highest per capita case rate,” Murkowski said, basing her statement on data from the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems, Science and Engineering. Murkowski said the rising number of covid cases has taxed Alaska’s health resources, that hospitals are having to turn away patients not suffering from the virus. She said hospital capacity is so stretched that when she recently visited an emergency room with a loved one, she was told that the individual would have to be sent to Seattle or Portland, Ore. — a 3 1/2 -hour flight, thousands of miles away — because there was no availability in Alaska.



Yep, I'm working tomorrow

From oh-dark-thirty until noonish or so. *sigh* I mean, it's good to be busy, but it kind of sours that Friday festive mood, if you catch my drift.