Candidate filing begins today for 2018 (Mid-Term) Election

And you don't have to be a crotchety old man to ride the Blue Wave:

State Senator
At least 25 years of age by the date of the general election
Residence in state for two years prior to election
Residence in district for one year immediately prior to general election1
Registered to vote in the district and eligible to vote for the office

State House Representative
At least 21 years of age by the date of the general election
Residence in district for one year immediately prior to general election2
Registered to vote in the district and eligible to vote for the office

If I'm reading those footnotes correctly, the one year residency requirement is waived if your District is one that was "fixed" (which map, I don't know), but you still need to have set up a residency by the end of the filing period (Feb 28). Here are some other requirements for candidates, and those of you who have announced early need to pay close attention:

Monday News: The Dreamer debate

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MOODY TRUMP IS AN UNKNOWN FACTOR AS SENATE GEARS UP FOR IMMIGRATION FIX: The Senate begins a rare, open-ended debate on immigration and the fate of the "Dreamer" immigrants on Monday, and Republican senators say they'll introduce President Donald Trump's plan. Though his proposal has no chance of passage, Trump may be the most influential voice in the conversation. If the aim is to pass a legislative solution, Trump will be a crucial and, at times, complicating player. His day-to-day turnabouts on the issues have confounded Democrats and Republicans and led some to urge the White House to minimize his role in the debate for fear he'll say something that undermines the effort. Yet his ultimate support will be vital if Congress is to overcome election-year pressures against compromise. No Senate deal is likely to see the light of day in the more conservative House without the president's blessing and promise to sell compromise to his hard-line base.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/national-politics/article199615529.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

LEGISLATIVE LEADERS HOLD SHAMEFUL KANGAROO COURT SESSION: If anyone needs an example of the kind of abusive, unprofessional and unbusiness-like manner in which the General Assembly operates these days, all they needed to do was witness the conduct Thursday afternoon of the legislature’s Joint Appropriations Committee meeting. It was an exercise in abuse by the legislative leadership and an embarrassment to the General Assembly and the citizens of North Carolina it represents. The time, place and manner of the grilling made for a disgusting display. The inquisitors were less concerned with answers than making veiled accusations, playing to their partisan base, the TV cameras and intimidating Lilly and the governor’s office. They owe Lilly, their fellow legislators and the voters who have given them the privilege to represent them, a full and sincere apology.
http://www.wral.com/editorial-legislative-leaders-hold-shameful-kangaroo-court-session/17323763/

Dear black women

Dear black women,

As I watched the HKonJ march in Raleigh today, I marveled at the impact black women had on the crowd. I see you as the foundation of the moral movement. Your presence, passion, and integrity set a high bar for political activism. You are the difference that needs to be made in 2018.

Twelve years ago, I wrote an essay entitled Dear women, where I appealed to the women of the world to please take over. Today, I’m specifically asking that of black women.

HKONJ

I'm hoping there will be some live-streaming of the march today. If it happens, you'll be able to find it here.

https://livestream.com/accounts/5188266/events/8048212

Trump blocks release of Democrats' memo on Carter Page investigation

A blatant effort to conceal damning evidence of Russian involvement with his administration:

In a letter to House intelligence committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., the White House said it could not release the Democrats' memo because the Justice Department "has identified portions...which it believes would create especially significant concerns for the national security and law enforcement interests."

That explanation stands in stark contrast to his release of the GOP memo last Friday. The president approved its release over the strong objections of the FBI, which warned that it could jeopardize national security. The president's refusal to release the Democrats' memo also goes against the committee's unanimous, bipartisan decision Monday to make it public.

Trump is playing an extremely dangerous game here, and it's a good bet he doesn't realize it. Mueller is a lot more intelligent than he is, and is likely watching this circus to see which animals might turn on their trainers. Or which animals are performing too well. It's complicated, which means Trump is way out of his depth. In order to understand just how silly and off-topic this dueling memo thing is, you need to grasp the significance of the FBI's target of those investigations, Carter Page himself:

Saturday News: Primary problems

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COURT OF APPEALS GRANTS GOP REQUEST TO BLOCK JUDICIAL PRIMARIES: Primary elections for statewide judicial races in North Carolina are canceled again after an appeals court granted a request on Friday from Republican lawmakers to temporarily halt a federal judge’s ruling. The announcement came in a two-paragraph notice from a clerk at the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The decision comes three days before the filing period was to open for candidates seeking the four statewide judicial seats on the ballot in the 2018 elections. Barring any further action by the courts, state elections officials said in a subsequent memo, candidates seeking judicial seats in 2018 will file for election from June 18 to June 29.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/article199328524.html

Urban Institute slams NC Republicans for mistreatment of unemployed

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That "Rainy Day Fund" is dripping with blood:

A 2013 state law cut both the size and duration of unemployment benefits in North Carolina. Lawmakers said they made the change because the trust fund that pays for the program had a $2 billion deficit.

The fund has recovered and had $3.17 billion in the bank as of December, but that was a result of “a radical reduction in the generosity of your program to the claimants,” said Wayne Vroman of The Urban Institute, a Washington-based economic think tank that studied the state’s unemployment insurance program.

That's actually a $5 billion dollar swing, generated on the backs of those already struggling to survive. Five billion that would have been almost exclusively injected back into the economy, helping untold others laboring on the margins. More depressing and infuriating numbers:

Another GOP power grab under scrutiny by the court today

When your arrogance far outweighs your common sense:

A three-judge panel will take up motions to dispose of two issues in the separation of powers case, Cooper v. Berger. The first issue involves House Bill 239, a measure that reduced the Court of Appeals from 15 judges to 12, and the second involves a voucher mandate in the budget bill, Senate Bill 257. Cooper argues that Section 1 of HB239 purports to shorten three appellate judicial terms to fewer than eight years. He asks the court to declare it unconstitutional and therefore “void and of no effect.”

As for the voucher mandate, Cooper argues that it’s unconstitutional because the General Assembly mandated what he could include in his base budget. “By mandating what the Governor must include in his proposed budget, the General Assembly is exercising core executive power in violation of separation of powers,” the complaint states.

The key word there is "proposed." The Governor's budget proposal is non-binding. The General Assembly is free to write a completely different Budget, which incorporates little or nothing from what the Governor asks for. By dictating what the Governor must ask for, this bill amounts to a contradictory and oxymoronic "forced bi-partisanship." Allowing Republicans to disingenuously claim "Both we and the Governor support this funding." This is the kind of crap military juntas in third-world countries pull to control their civilian figurehead leaders. And the fact that it has become second nature to NC's GOP cabal should scare the living hell out of everybody.

Friday News: You will be missed, sir

AFTER A LONG LIFE OF PUBLIC SERVICE, REP. MICKEY MICHAUX ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT: A political fixture in Durham and the General Assembly, N.C. Rep. H.M. “Mickey” Michaux, 87, announced Thursday that he will retire from elected office. After King was assassinated, Michaux said Thursday in a speech at the General Assembly, he told himself he’d never go into politics. Now, after winning 22 elections to represent Durham in the General Assembly, Michaux is in his 43rd year in politics. It’ll be his last, he said Thursday, announcing he doesn’t plan to run for re-election. When he first joined the legislature, he was just the third African-American person ever elected. They decided to band together. “We were referred to as smart Negroes. That was to our face. So we decided we need to have our caucus, so we started the first black caucus,” he said. Michaux touched on his accomplishments in advancing civil rights in his speech to lawmakers Thursday. “I want you to be very careful what you do when I’m not here,” he told them.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/counties/durham-county/article199194364.html

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