Wednesday News: Cease and desist

REVEREND BARBER CALLS ON GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO STOP PASSING LAWS UNTIL MAPS ARE FIXED: "Currently, we have an unconstitutionally constituted, illegal body leading our state legislature, and it has become evident that they are more entrenched than they ever were," Barber said at a news conference in front of the Legislative Building. "They’re not in office because they won the election. They’re in office, according to the courts, because they cheated, and they used racial methods to cheat. And then, with illegal power, they have passed bills that have hurt all North Carolinians," Barber said. "They used that power – illegal power – to pass the worst voter suppression law that we saw in the nation, and the courts overturned that, too."
http://www.wral.com/naacp-leader-calls-on-lawmakers-to-cease-and-desist-/16760764/

State continues to fight hearing for Clemmons man to learn why he was fired

State continues to fight hearing for Clemmons man to learn why he was fired

By Richard Craver Winston-Salem Journal

http://www.journalnow.com/news/state_region/state-continues-to-fight-hearing-for-clemmons-man-to-lea...

Tuesday News: Keep up the pressure

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GOVERNOR COOPER REMAINS STEADFAST IN DEMAND FOR NEW MAPS AND ELECTIONS: North Carolina Democrats and allies continued to press Republican leaders Monday to redraw legislative maps quickly after the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed last week that nearly 30 districts are illegally racially gerrymandered. Last Monday, the nation’s highest court upheld the lower court decision of three federal judges who originally tossed out the districts in August. The lower court can’t act until formally getting the case back from the Supreme Court, but the judges wrote Friday that they would “act promptly” on when new maps should be drawn and whether a special election is necessary this fall.
http://www.thetimesnews.com/news/20170613/gov-cooper-nc-democrats-push-for-new-maps-quickly

Tuesday Twitter roundup

In the "put your money where your mouth is" category:

When you try to do something good and some idiot sticks his leg out to trip you:

Glimmers of hope

Many people I know are despondent over the shitshow going on in Raleigh, myself included. It's hard to understand how grown adults can behave with such callous disregard for our institutions, and indeed for government itself. But the problem is not complex. ALL of the legislative challenges we're facing can be traced back to aggressive and unconstitutional gerrymandering. All of them.

NC Democrats only granted symbolic role in GOP budget negotiations

To seem rather than to be:

Eight state House Democrats, including Rep. Elmer Floyd of Fayetteville and Rep. Marvin Lucas of Spring Lake, were invited to the Republican-controlled table to help negotiate the final version of the $22.9 billion North Carolina budget this month.

House and Senate lawmakers began meeting behind closed doors this past Monday to work out their differences in the budget, which they are supposed to pass into law no later than June 30. Lucas said on Thursday said he had not yet been invited to attend one of the work sessions. In these negotiations, Lucas said, it’s better to keep quiet about what you want because the other side can use that against you.

Bolding mine, because that is some seriously immature behavior. Maybe they should try reverse psychology? "Please don't fund this affordable housing project, and why don't we cut those godawful food stamps, too?" But you know what? Lucas is right. There are some things in the House Budget I want to see survive these negotiations, but I have decided (this year) to not blog about those things here at BlueNC, for fear of making them a target for removal. How screwed up is that? And along the lines of "reverse psychology," I'm tempted to cheer this guy on, in the hopes my approval will sour his position:

Monday News: Never forget

MEMORIALS HELD ON ANNIVERSARY OF PULSE NIGHTCLUB MASSACRE: Church bells will toll throughout the Orlando area as residents reflect on the 49 patrons killed during a massacre at the gay nightclub Pulse in the worst mass shooting in recent U.S. history. Starting in the early hours Monday, and continuing almost 24 hours later, survivors, victims’ families, city officials and central Florida residents will remember the victims with four services. The first service is closed to the public, and it’s being held at the nightclub for survivors, local officials and club employees. It will overlap with the exact time that gunman Omar Mateen began firing shots — a little after 2 a.m. on June 12, 2016. It is followed by another midday service at the nightclub, and an evening gathering in the heart of downtown Orlando. A final, music-filled late-night service is being held at the nightclub.
http://www.thetimesnews.com/zz/news/20170612/rise-orlando-massacre-anniversary-first-lady-moves-in-p...

Profiles in hatred: Anti-Muslim extremists invade US cities

White supremacy seems to be the common denominator:

Far-right groups converged on the grounds of the State Capitol in Raleigh for an anti-sharia law rally, part of a nationwide string of events hosted by the anti-Muslim organization ACT for America, on Saturday. “There are no KKK here, there are no Nazis here,” said Peter Boykin, president of Gays for Trump and the local coordinator for the Raleigh anti-sharia rally. Despite his disavowal of extremism, Boykin publicly thanked Identity Evropa, a group founded last year that openly espouses white supremacy, after members in matching white dress shirts punctuated speeches with chants of, “Sharia-free USA” and “We will not be silenced.”

If you're wondering (as I frequently do) on what could lead to somebody joining such a fringe group, which often requires traveling great distances just to publicly display your ignorance, the most obvious first choice is deeply-ingrained racism. But it's more than that, and at least some of the responsibility may rest on our shoulders. To go this far, you have to also possess an incredible lack of trust in our system of government, the way our laws are developed and enforced. Many on the Left are guilty of relentlessly attacking that (entire) system, as opposed to being surgical in their criticisms, and this has helped to erode public trust across the board. And in that trust-deficient environment, fear always steps in to fill the void. And so we hear the names of ambiguous and "code-enhanced" groups emerging:

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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END THE PARTISAN GAMES, DRAW LEGAL VOTING DISTRICTS NOW: It is time for the North Carolina General Assembly to face reality. They are being ordered to create new legislative and congressional districts. For the third time this year the U.S. Supreme Court has taken North Carolina’s lawmakers to task, unanimously ruling they relied too heavily on race to illegally draw the state’s legislative districts. Simply put, the current districts are unconstitutional. The court should give the state a deadline and provide specific criteria to be followed for drawing the new districts. If the legislature will not follow the guidelines, the court should draw the districts itself. Additionally, the court could also ask for public input to help with the new districts.
http://www.wral.com/editorial-end-the-partisan-games-draw-legal-voting-districts-now/16746847/

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