Wednesday News: Freedom isn't free

PRESIDENT BIDEN BANS RUSSIAN FOSSIL FUEL IMPORTS TO U.S.: On March 8, President Joe Biden announced that the United States will ban “all imports of Russian oil and gas and energy.” “That means Russian oil will no longer be acceptable at U.S. ports and the American people will deal another powerful blow to Putin’s war machine,” Biden said. Biden said the decision was made in close consultations with U.S. allies in Europe, because a “united response to Putin’s aggression has been my overriding focus.” However, he added that many European countries “may not be in a position to join us.” “Russia is going to need to find markets in order to find revenues for its treasury,” Pyziur said. “And that’s the point of it,” he said of the ban. “It is to try to find non-military ways of dealing with Russia’s aggression without resorting to things like actual military action, invasions, and things like that.” For the record, I expect right-wingers to have a conniption over this. But the rest of us need to support both Biden and the Ukrainian people.

Tuesday Twitter roundup

What Jeanne said. We had an EITC until the NC GOP did away with it. If you're not independently wealthy, you're not on their radar. After the cuts are made, anyway.

Monday News: Twenty two thousand, seven hundred sixty three


POSITIVE TESTING RATE IN NC FALLS BELOW 5% AGAIN: At least 2,598,014 coronavirus cases have been reported in North Carolina, and at least 22,763 people have died since March 2020, according to state health officials. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Friday, March 4, reported 2,646 new COVID-19 cases, up from 2,377 the day before. An additional 38 coronavirus-related deaths were added to the total. At least 1,336 people were reported hospitalized with COVID-19 as of March 4, including 284 adults being treated in intensive care units, health officials said. The total number of patients was down from 1,397 the day before. As of March 2, the latest date with available information, 4.3% of coronavirus tests were reported positive. Everywhere I've been in the last week I was one of the rare people wearing a mask. Not promising.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


TROUBLING EMERGENCE OF SUPPORT FOR PUTIN: North Carolina’s Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson made mention of the need of people in Australia and Canada to be able to arm themselves against “terrible things.” He didn’t say a word during his 12-minute address of the immediate massive Russian threat to under-armed Ukrainians. North Carolina Republican congressman Madison Cawthorn praised China for instilling “great patriotic and masculine values” in that dictatorship’s youth. He, also, made no mention of Putin’s unprovoked violence toward the Ukrainian people. Eight miles from the CPAC event, America First was holding its national conference. Nick Fuentes, one of the leaders, urged the support for Putin’s unprovoked armed efforts against the Ukraine. ““Can we get a round of applause for Russia?” he asked. The crowed cheered and then responded with rhythmic chants of “Putin! Putin!” Is the Trump wing of the Republican Party being morphed into the Putin wing? What has happened to so many of those in a political party who’s revered conservative spirit once confronted Russia with a demand to “tear down this wall” in support of freedom for those suffering under that nation’s dictatorial oppression? It's tempting to blame this on the obstinacy of Donald Trump, but he didn't create the drive toward Fascism by many on the right, he just took advantage of it.

Saturday News: Beat him at the ballot box


TRUMP JUDGE BLOCKS CHALLENGE TO MADISON CAWTHORN'S CONGRESSIONAL RUN: Cawthorn’s opponents say the Jan. 6 attack was an attempted insurrection — a word that top GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has also used to describe that day that resulted in several deaths and injuries. The opponents say the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution bans those who have engaged in insurrection against the government from holding federal office like a seat in Congress. But Cawthorn had argued that a pro-Confederate law passed during Reconstruction allowed many ex-insurrectionists to run for office, despite the 14th Amendment, and that it should apply to him too. Federal district court judge Richard Myers, a Trump appointee, agreed and ruled in Cawthorn’s favor. He's got a bruising Primary brewing right now, so hopefully he won't even be on the ballot in November. Fingers crossed.

Friday News: Adam is right


CHAPEL HILL PONDERS BUILDING APARTMENTS OVER COAL ASH DEPOSITS: All but one Chapel Hill Town Council member backed more talks Wednesday about putting a new police department headquarters, more town services, and possibly housing, on an old coal ash site. Council member Adam Searing said he couldn’t support housing on top of coal ash. He would not move his family there, he said, adding that he suspected “most people on this (Zoom) call would not be willing to move their kids onto this coal ash dump.” Studies conducted by the town’s consultants found coal-related contaminants, including arsenic, lead, barium, chromium and selenium in the soil and groundwater. High levels of mercury also were found in the groundwater. In lieu of one of my long-winded diatribes about methyl mercury, Bolin Creek eventually feeds into Jordan Lake, giving elemental mercury many opportunities to cross that organic threshold. Clean it up, clean it all up.

Thursday News: This is leadership

BIDEN'S STATE OF THE UNION WAS UNIFYING: Addressing a concerned nation and anxious world, President Joe Biden vowed in his first State of the Union address Tuesday night to check Russian aggression in Ukraine, tame soaring U.S. inflation and deal with the fading but still dangerous coronavirus. Biden declared that he and all members of Congress, whatever their political differences, are joined “with an unwavering resolve that freedom will always triumph over tyranny.” He asked lawmakers crowding the House chamber to stand and salute the Ukrainians as he began his speech. They stood and cheered. It was a notable show of unity after a long year of bitter acrimony between Biden’s Democratic coalition and the Republican opposition. And yet, Republicans still can't control their extremist nut-jobs, a couple of whom heckled the President continuously. Shameful and embarrassing.


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