Thursday News: It's worse than you think

NEW GERRYMANDERING LAWSUIT EXPOSES REPUBLICAN CHEATING: The lawsuit claims that even if Democratic candidates were to win the statewide vote by a significant margin, it still wouldn’t be enough to take control of the legislature. “Indeed, it would likely take a statewide win by at least seven points for the minority party to have a chance to elect a majority of the seats in any of those chambers — something that never happens in a state as 50-50 as North Carolina,” a press release announcing the lawsuit said. Republicans could expect to win 60% of the legislative races — enough for a veto-proof supermajority — with just 50% of the statewide vote, one of the filings in the lawsuit claims. If they win, the challengers say the legislature should be forced to redraw new, fairer maps — and that if they don’t, then a court should replace the current maps with the ones the challengers drew. Looks like it's Special Master time again...
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article255890486.html

Wednesday News: Leadership

GOVERNOR COOPER SET TO SIGN BUDGET INTO LAW: “I will sign this budget, because on balance the good outweighs the bad,” Cooper said, adding that it moves North Carolina forward in important ways, “many that are critical to our state’s progress as we are emerging from this pandemic.” “While I believe that it is a budget of some missed opportunities and misguided policy, it is also a budget that we desperately need at this unique time in the history of our state,” Cooper said. Cooper cites raises for state employees and tax relief for “everyday North Carolinians” among the reasons for supporting it. He added the caveat that he is “clear-eyed there are ways we differ,” including that the budget does not include Medicaid expansion. It also has an ugly poison pill, taking away some of his emergency powers. But like any good leader, he puts the needs of others over his own.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article255861576.html

Tuesday Twitter roundup

This is needed very much. The rich county vs. poor county issue has gotten worse every year.

Monday News: Toxic red tide

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REPUBLICANS' LOOK TO NC SUBURBS TO REGAIN SUPERMAJORITY: “The most competitive region in this state, in terms of voting patterns, are those ‘urban suburbs,’” said Michael Bitzer, a political scientist at Catawba College. “The places outside the urban centers of Raleigh and Charlotte, but still in the county.” Reflecting that reality are the new political maps Republican state lawmakers passed last month, both for their own districts and for the congressional districts. There are almost no competitive seats in any of those maps, with most elections likely to be decided in the primary in March, not the general election in November. With the maps already favoring Republicans even in a 50-50 year, and with 2022 looking like it could be a strong year for Republicans, some Democrats are starting to raise alarms about those suburban districts that could be in play next year. “You’ve got to make sure they don’t have veto-proof supermajorities,” said Thomas Mills, a longtime Democratic consultant who runs the blog Politics NC. “That’s got to be the Democrats’ first goal.” I agree with Thomas, preserving Governor Cooper's Veto power is critical.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article255741861.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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THE NC GENERAL ASSEMBLY IS UNDERMINING THE RULE OF LAW: From our founding, our state constitution has given an independent judiciary the solemn duty to declare what is the law for every case that comes before it, including whether or not an act by either the executive or legislative branches violates the constitution. The judiciary is accountable to the rule of law and not to the legislative or executive branches. Once the judiciary has established the rule of law for the case, the legislative and executive branches of government hold the companion duty to assure the rule of law is fully implemented. This principle is fundamental to our democracy. That legislators believe they can ignore constitutional obligations without check by the courts should profoundly disturb all citizens. That some legislators demeaned a judge acting in accordance with law, thereby undermining judicial independence and authority, is equally disturbing. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. GOP leaders have behaved like tyrants for over a decade, and would have been infinitely worse if not for the Judicial Branch. Of course they attack Judge Lee, because he represents their only obstacle to complete domination, our Constitution itself.
https://www.wral.com/burley-mitchell-henry-van-hoy-general-assembly-undermines-rule-of-law/19967646/

Saturday News: Total Capitulation

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TIM MOORE IS AFRAID TO RUN AGAINST MADISON CAWTHORN: In Cawthorn’s announcement, he did not mention Moore by name, but he said he was worried about an “establishment” Republican prevailing in the 13th district if he did not run. “Knowing the political realities of the 13th district, I am afraid that another establishment, go-along to get-along Republican would prevail there. I will not let that happen,” Cawthorn said in a video announcement. Saine and Moore were at a fundraiser in the Outer Banks with other lawmakers on Thursday night when the news broke, first of Cawthorn’s change and then of Moore’s decision not to run for Congress. “I told him that he’s my speaker and has done a good job. I haven’t heard any announcement to the contrary and he continues to have my support as speaker,” Saine said. Yeah, you can play it like that 'til the cows come home, but everybody knows the deal. Afraid of a nut-job in a wheelchair, and afraid Trump will choose the crazy one to support. Which he would, of course.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article255751846.html

Friday News: Honor them now, not after they die

HOMELESS RALEIGH VETERAN GETS VERY NICE FUNERAL: For more than a decade, Dominic Fiumara lived in a tent at the back of a Raleigh cemetery, where he was known as a tough, elder statesman of the city’s homeless. Nobody who shied away from Fiumara on the sidewalks knew he once wore a uniform, serving 15 years in the U.S. Army, lastly with the 1st Cavalry Division. They did not know he fought in the Gulf War, or that he earned the Bronze Star. They did not hear about the demons that pulled him out of polite society, leaving him so estranged that nobody noticed for weeks when he died at 63. There are some 50,000 homeless veterans in the United States, and about half of them suffer from a diagnosable mental health condition. Some 21 veterans commit suicide in our country every single day, and it's a good bet a lot of them are probably on the verge (or past the verge) of homelessness when they take that final step. Each F-35 costs about $78 million, not counting fuel and upkeep, while our outreach and assistance to veterans is patchy at best. We must do better.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/article255699151.html

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