Friday News: The new Supermajority

JUSTICE ANITA EARLS SEATED ON NC SUPREME COURT, GIVING DEMS 5-2 EDGE: Earls has worked diligently for years to win equal opportunity for her clients. She served as deputy assistant attorney general for civil rights at the U.S. Department of Justice under former President Bill Clinton, and she later founded the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, a civil rights group that successfully challenged North Carolina's 2013 voter ID law and gerrymandered voting districts. Through her work, she said Thursday, she learned bridging those divides isn't something she could accomplish alone. "It will take all of our country's public and private institutions to effect that healing, to bring us together for the common good, to lift us up instead of tearing us apart," she said. "It requires a system of justice that adheres to the rule of law ... a system in which no one is above the law and justice does not depend on gender, wealth, status, political party, race, creed or color."

Winston-Salem ready to take legal action to move Confederate statue

Move over Silent Sam, this other dude's time has come:

Although the city has offered to pay the costs of relocating the statue to a new site, Mayor Allen Joines said he was told in recent months by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the statue’s owners, that the group doesn’t believe it can legally move the monument because of a North Carolina law passed in 2015.

The city is threatening legal action to have the statue moved if the UDC doesn’t act on its own by Jan. 31.

Pretty sure that 2015 law does not apply. The statue was originally placed on public property, but that property was sold and converted into downtown apartments. But the statue is still the "property" of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. On the plus side, there is a historic cemetery not far away where Confederate soldiers are actually buried, so hopefully the UDC will see the wisdom of moving the statue to that site. But a looming conflict has already been set in motion. Jordan Green with the Triad City Beat has been tracking potentially dangerous White Supremacists in the region for a while, and he's got some details:

Thursday News: The Mandamus gambit


MARK HARRIS WILL ASK JUDGE TO CERTIFY HIS TAINTED ELECTION: Republican Mark Harris said Wednesday he’ll ask a Wake County Superior Court judge to certify his election in the 9th Congressional District immediately, even as a probe into alleged election fraud continues. Harris’ announcement came after North Carolina state elections officials postponed next week’s hearing into allegations of election fraud in the 9th District — and after Gov. Roy Cooper accused Republicans of blocking the probe. It also came a day before a new Democratic-controlled U.S. House is sworn in, presumably without Harris, the winner of November’s election. Instead of taking a seat in Congress on Thursday, Harris will meet with investigators looking into the fraud allegations in Raleigh, according to a spokesman for the state elections board and Harris’ attorney.

Put this on your 2019 to-do list: Tracking Dan Forest

One thing that really irks me is when an elected politician spends all his time running for office, getting his photo taken in celebrity poses, and generally being a do-nothing screw off. We see that every day with the Great Orange One ... but it's also true of NC's second-highest elected official, Dan "Photo Op" Forest. With that in mind, I hope you'll join us in keeping tabs on Dan the Scam as he continues to rip off North Carolina taxpayers all day every day.

The Trump Effect: Israeli settlements in West Bank on steroids

The path to a lasting peace is being bricked over:

In 2017, 3,154 tenders were issued, up from just 42 during Obama's final year in office. In 2018, that number rose to over 3,800, the highest number by far since Peace Now started compiling the data in 2002. This sets the stage for a huge jump in construction in the near future.

"There's definitely a change of atmosphere. There's definitely a change of winds," said Oded Revivi, mayor of Efrat, a major settlement near Jerusalem, and the chief foreign envoy of the Yesha settlement council. Revivi said that Obama pressured Israel into greatly curtailing settlement activity. Now, he said, Israel is trying to make up for lost time.

There was a lot going on during the Obama administration to bring some sort of agreement to the table over this problem, and we came tantalizingly close in 2014:

Wednesday News: Dangerous fetish


IDIOT FIRES GUN INTO THE AIR, COLLEGE STUDENT PAYS THE PRICE: Allyson Cole said she and her roommate, 22-year-old Kaitlyn Kong, watched the Acorn Drop at midnight and were listening to music when Kong suddenly dropped her phone and grabbed both her chest and her friend. "'I’ve been hit. I got hurt really bad,'" Cole said Kong told her. "Her breathing was labored, so I knew something was wrong." Police said the two women were near the intersection of Fayetteville and Davie streets when revelers fired guns in the air at 12:05 a.m. to celebrate the new year during a fireworks display. Kong was taken to WakeMed, where an X-ray revealed an object in her abdomen. Raleigh police said the bullet entered her chest and landed in her abdomen. Based on its trajectory, investigators said they believe the bullet came from above. Cole and Kong's mother, Gwynne Kong, said the bullet nicked one of Kaitlyn Kong's lungs, perforated her diaphragm, went through her stomach and ended up next to her hip.

Tuesday News: The year of racism


WHITE GIRL + BLACK BOYFRIEND = UGLY RACIST VANDALISM: A Goldsboro family and Wayne County law enforcement officers are asking for the public's help to catch the criminals who torched the family's newly purchased van and spray painted another one with racist and profane hate speech. The family's mother believes they were targeted because her 14-year-old daughter, who is white, currently has a black boyfriend. Amanda Miller said she still can't believe the hate she woke up to last Thursday. "And when you walk out, all you see is a swastika and you're like, 'Oh my gosh, what just happened?'" she said. One of the family's van was covered with spray paint that had expletives and the N-word. The family's other SUV, a 2018 model that was recently bought and financed, was sprayed with racist language. "They're estimating (the damage) at $17,000," Miller said. "We've only made four payments. And we owe $25,000."

Tuesday Twitter roundup

2019 has a very absurd beginning:

Not sure what his plan is, but if he thinks the staff is going to certify him before a new Board of Elections is put in place, he's been smoking something funky:


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