Saturday News: A principled stand

SEN. NATASHA MARCUS REFUSES TO PLAY BALL WITH REPUBLICAN MAPMAKERS: Republicans said they offered Marcus a chance to draw her own district without a double-bunk. And she did so on Tuesday night, creating a district that met certain tests in the legislature’s self-imposed redistricting criteria better than the GOP version of the map. But she never submitted the amendment Wednesday morning during the Senate vote. Marcus and Sen. Dan Blue said Republicans, specifically Sen. Paul Newton, told them Wednesday morning that the only way they’d accept an amendment saving Marcus is if Democrats agreed to include the same version of a southern Mecklenburg district that Democrats have previously said is an example of gerrymandering. “They insisted, in other words, that we endorse their gerrymandering in order to save my place in the Senate. We would not agree to that deal. The need for fair maps in NC is too important,” Marcus said. They always have a self-serving agenda, and it's time voters took notice.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article255459726.html

Friday News: Geez, Marty

ALLEGED SUPPORTER OF THE ARTS AND ARTISAN BURGERS IS ACTUALLY A RACIST: The UNC-CH Board of Trustees on Thursday struck down a member’s proposed resolution that would have prohibited the university from strictly using “race, sex, color or ethnicity” in admissions and hiring decisions. The last-minute motion proposed by board member Marty Kotis followed a closed session, where trustees discussed ongoing legal matters. UNC-CH has been a part of a years-long federal affirmative action lawsuit claiming white and Asian applicants are discriminated against. A federal judge ruled last month that UNC-CH can use race in its admissions process. Kotis said he thinks everyone should have a fair opportunity to be admitted, apply for a job or do contract work at UNC-CH “without fear of being labeled or stuck in a bucket.” Stuck in a bucket? WTF are you talking about, dude?
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/education/article255547731.html

Robinson, Sears, and the Hate-Mongering Elephant in the Room

One curious aspect of the Virginia Race was the election of Winsome Sears in the Lt Governor race in the state. Sears seems to be a doppleganger of NC's Mark Robinson.

While Sears previously served in Virginia's House of Delegates and is a military vet, while Robinson came from nowhere with only a YouTube channel to his credit, they both share some common qualities besides being both states's first Black Lieutenant Governors.

Wednesday News: Packing (also called cheating)

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REPUBLICAN GERRYMANDERS CRAM DEMOCRATS INTO HANDFUL OF DISTRICTS: “These districts that are the ones that are in play have many, many less Democrats than we’d typically see,” Mattingly said. “The districts that are very safe for Democrats have a lot more Democrats, so they’ve been packed in it. And the districts that are very safe for Republicans actually have less Republicans, still leaving them safe.” The state House passed a bill for its new district lines Tuesday night, and the state Senate did the same for its own map Wednesday. Nothing is likely to change as the maps wait for approval in opposite chambers. Pat Ryan, a spokesperson for Senate Republicans, said Wednesday he’d need more details on the Duke team’s analysis of congressional map proposals before commenting. Translated: Give me some time to find an errant word or two to criticize and distract people from seeing the obvious.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article255511481.html

2021 NC Municipal Elections

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Property taxes, water & sewer rates, downtown revitalization, planning & zoning, police and fire departments, affordable housing, all of these things and more are determined by your local elected officials. And your vote in these elections carries more weight than in any other elections, especially since turnout is historically low. Just do it. In and out with the quickness, no lines or very short ones (see turnout). I'm going right now to vote, and then work the polls, as long as my energy holds up...

Tuesday Twitter roundup

That's 3/4 of our seats. Going to a party with less than 1/3 of the registered voters in NC.

Monday News: Eighteen thousand fifty

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COVID HOSPITALIZATIONS IN NC CONTINUE DOWNWARD TREND: At least 1,477,514 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus, and at least 18,050 have died since March 2020, according to state health officials. At least 1,335 people were reported hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Friday, including 394 adults who are patients in intensive care units, health officials said. On Wednesday, the latest date with available information, 4.4% of coronavirus tests were reported positive. North Carolina health care providers discarded 703,000 COVID vaccine doses since December, representing a $12 million loss to the U.S. government, WTVD reported. That’s nearly 7% of the 10 million doses sent to the state, the Raleigh station reported Friday, citing N.C. Department of Health and Human Service data. Of course the anti-vaxxers won't admit to wasting taxpayer monies with their stubborn refusal.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/coronavirus/article255379961.html

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