Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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UNHAPPY LEGISLATORS SLING MUD AT COURT: The legislature’s redistricting plans have invariably been concocted in secret, keeping motives and methods far from the view of the public they serve. GOP leaders have also relied on their own taxpayer-financed “outside expert” for help drawing the gerrymandered maps, which is conveniently forgotten amid their outrage over Persily’s alternative plan. There’s no mystery about what Persily’s done or how he’s done it. He has been open, transparent and explicit about his methods and criteria. Legislators and others have had broad opportunities for input. Rather than seeking ways to minimize some voters’ voices, Persily worked to give all voters a full voice in picking their representatives. The only transparency coming out of the General Assembly these days is the hyper-partisan, inappropriate and insulting braying to impugn the work of a bipartisan panel of judges -- working simply to bring fairness to North Carolina’s elections.
http://www.wral.com/editorial-unhappy-legislators-sling-mud-at-court/17163834/

Wake County still battling with Legislature over electoral districts

At stake are Commissioner and School Board seats:

Election officials are asking a judge for permission to use old district lines for next year’s election of Wake County school board members and commissioners as a lawsuit continues to make its way through the court system.

In 2011, the school board and commissioners adopted new election districts that they expected would be used through 2020. But the General Assembly redrew the maps in 2013 to turn two Wake school board seats into regional districts, with each covering about half the county. In 2015, state lawmakers changed the Wake commissioner lines to match the school board districts.

This should really be a no-brainer; nothing of substance has changed since they were allowed to use the old maps in the 2016 Election. And something doesn't become "Constitutional" just because it's aged a couple years:

Saturday News: Carolina Red?

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UNC BOG CONTEMPLATING FORMING A RIGHT-WING "CENTER" ON CHAPEL HILL CAMPUS: Members of the UNC Board of Governors are exploring the idea of establishing a conservative-leaning center at UNC-Chapel Hill that they say would foster debate and achieve more intellectual diversity. The board will hear a presentation Friday from Robert “Robby” George, founder and director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. A delegation of UNC board members and administrators made a university-funded trip to Princeton this fall to learn more about the program, which was founded in 2000, according to its website, to explore “enduring questions of American constitutional law and Western political thought.”
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/education/article188880434.html

The Republican two-step: Same dance, different music

Friday News: California burning

VENTURA COUNTY ENGULFED IN STATE'S 3RD MAJOR WILDFIRE OF 2017: Steve Andruszkewicz and his neighbor Joseph Ruffner returned to their Faria Beach Colony homes just north of Ventura on Thursday to discover the flames that appeared to have spared the houses were threatening them once again. "I thought we were done yesterday," Ruffner said, adding he and his family returned to their home in the morning to see a wall of fire that seemed to be a safe distance away. But then it moved in, spraying hot embers onto the neighborhood. "It's coming back to burn what it didn't burn yesterday," he said. Firefighters urged people to leave the beachfront community, where electricity was out. "We're leaving," Andruszkewicz said as he and his wife sprayed palm trees with water from garden hoses first. Ruffner said he was staying put. "I bought a generator yesterday so at least I can see on TV what's going on," he said.
http://www.wral.com/hundreds-flee-as-fires-randomly-take-spare-california-homes/17164674/

Billionaire trying to take over NC schools gave $50,000 to Dan Forest

And since Dan Forest will have a vote on who wins the contract, the conflict of interest is glaringly obvious:

John Bryan has contributed about $600,000 to legislative candidates in North Carolina, most of them Republicans, and GOP political committees from 2011 to 2016. Included is a $100,000 contribution to a group supporting GOP candidates for the state Supreme Court. He contributed $50,000 to a political action committee called Truth & Prosperity, set up to support Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest. Forest is a member of the State Board of Education, which will help select which companies are chosen.

Forest said in an interview earlier this year that he did not know why Bryan contributed to the PAC.

Whether you know or don't know why is beside the point; at minimum, you should recuse yourself from any actions dealing with the Innovative School District. But the best way to handle this would be to resign your seat on the State Board of Education entirely. Because make no mistake, this story is not going to "fade away" like you're hoping it will.

Thursday News: Dirty tricks by GOP pricks

CLUB FOR GROWTH DARLING TED BUDD USES FAKE WEBSITE TO ATTACK DEM OPPONENT: Manning filed her candidacy Wednesday for the Democratic nomination in North Carolina’s 13th District, a seat now held by first-term Republican Rep. Ted Budd. Manning’s announcement was first reported by The News & Record in Greensboro. If you want to find out more about Manning, you can always visit her website. But Budd’s campaign already claimed kathymanningforcongress.com, offering its assessment of “The Real Kathy Manning” and labeling her as “an establishment Democrat insider” with ties to national Democratic political figures such as Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/under-the-dome/article18...

Who's prepared?

Below is an email from a friend who is currently living out west. Think of it as a road map for how to survive, if and when the shit hits the fan. In my opinion, the odds are high that our government will fall into fascism, both at the national level and here in North Carolina. It could get ugly.

With that preamble, here's what one person is doing to prepare for the worst. I'm on a slightly different track, but many of the actions he's taking are on my to-do list.

Judge cracks the whip on pork producer Murphy Brown

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That simply won't do, pig:

A federal judge is telling a major pork producer to live up to an agreement it signed 11 years ago and work on cleaning up water pollution tied to almost a dozen industry-scale hog operations.

U.S. District Court Judge Malcolm Howard this week ordered Murphy-Brown LLC to end a three-year delay and have a mutually agreed consultant develop plans to fix problems at 11 sites in in Bladen, Columbus, Duplin, Pitt, Sampson and Scotland counties. Environmentalists say the independent expert found groundwater contamination or waste lagoon problems at the operations.

It's as good a time as any to report on NC's current hog population (9.2 million), which of course produce a hell of a lot more waste than the 10.2 million humans residing here. It's bad, and Murphy Brown is the worst of the worst:

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