Tuesday News: Living in the age of tyrants


NORTH KOREA FIRES MISSILE OVER JAPAN WHILE US CONDUCTS NAVAL WAR GAMES IN AREA: North Korea fired a ballistic missile from its capital Pyongyang that flew over Japan before plunging into the northern Pacific Ocean, officials said Tuesday, an aggressive test-flight over the territory of a close U.S. ally that sends a clear message of defiance as Washington and Seoul conduct war games nearby. Each new test puts the North a step closer toward its goal of an arsenal of nuclear missiles that can reliably target the United States. The North has launched at an unusually fast pace this year, and some analysts believe the North could have viable long-range nuclear missiles before the end of President Donald Trump's first term in early 2021.

Who's the liar, Berger or Lewis?

Yesterday, Senator Phil Berger said:

"This is not a racial gerrymander. This is not a political gerrymander."

Three weeks earlier, Representative David Lewis said:

"We want to make clear that we are going to use political data in drawing this map. It is to gain partisan advantage on the map. I want that criteria to be clearly stated and understood.”

It's way past time for the courts to take his clusterfluck away from the legislature and draw new districts itself.

Tuesday Twitter roundup

This pretty much sums up the GOP's efforts to repair their unconstitutional maps:

We have to fight the new maps, which means candidate recruitment and other campaign efforts might be pointless in the near future. Gee thanks.

Duke Energy wants to fleece customers for coal ash cleanup and canceled nuke plant

Asking for a 16.7% rate increase from residential customers:

The increase includes Duke’s request to recover almost $680 million from customers for the money spent since 2015 cleaning up the utility’s coal-ash ponds at eight current and former coal-powered plants in North and South Carolina.

And the filing says Duke will ask the N.C. Utilities Commission to cancel plans for Duke’s proposed Lee Nuclear Station and let Duke charge N.C. customers for the state’s share of more than $540 million in planning and pre-construction costs the utility has already spent on the project. That will be detailed in a separate filing.

Aside from being costly mistakes made by the utility itself, neither one of those things will provide an additional kilowatt of energy for our state. Nothing. If you walked into a Belks or even a Harris Teeter and were greeted with a sign that said, "We made some stupid decisions so now we've raised our prices by almost 17%! Have a nice day!" You would probably turn around and walk right out. But you can't walk out of Duke Energy. If we ever needed the NCUC to stand up and do what's right, this is it.

Monday News: New court, new day


COOPER ASKS NC SUPREME COURT TO REVIEW ELECTIONS ISSUES: Gov. Roy Cooper has asked the seven justices to review a three-judge panel’s decision that upheld the merger this year of the state elections board and ethics commission, a case that could determine whether Republicans will have leadership on elections boards at the state and county level during presidential election years when North Carolina voters also elect their governor. Another case that will go before the state’s highest court on Monday is a redistricting challenge sent back to the justices earlier this year after the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed federal court rulings finding unconstitutional racial gerrymandering in 28 state legislative districts and two unconstitutional gerrymanders in place from 2011 to 2016.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


AS LEGISLATURE BUMBLES AND DELAYS ON REDISTRICTING, COURT NEEDS TO BE SWIFT AND DECISIVE: What has become amply clear is that the legislative leadership is doing as little as possible to comply with the federal court’s redistricting order. Rather than take the opportunity to actively inform and involve the public in the process, legislators have been content to do the least they can get away with. As anyone who sought to follow Tuesday’s public hearings learned, the many technical glitches and disorganization reflected a token effort at best by legislators who obviously have their minds made up. There are even Republican legislators, knowing what was coming even before the latest plans were disclosed, who already have announced future political plans. It’s clear the skids are greased and the public hearings were merely for show. The people of North Carolina deserve better.

Violent Klan leader in Caswell County gets off scot-free in stabbing incident

Corrupt DA's exit leaves prosecutor's office ineffective and the people unprotected:

Jacqueline Perez was appointed interim district attorney for Caswell and Person counties following the abrupt resignation of District Attorney Wallace Bradsher, who is accused of defrauding the state through a scheme in which he and former Rockingham County District Attorney Craig Blitzer allegedly hired each other’s wives for “no-show” positions.

Perez wrote in Barker’s dismissal that there was “insufficient evidence to warrant prosecution” because the state’s motion to continue the trial was denied. She added, “The district attorney’s office contacted the victim and he told the state he was not coming back to North Carolina to prosecute the case.”

Yes, this is the same guy who recently told the Latino reporter, "We're gonna burn you out, to me you're a n****r. Hey, we killed six million Jews the last time, eleven million (meaning undocumented immigrants) is nothing." He also applauded the guy who ran over Heather Heyer in Charlottesville. But to refresh your memory, here is what he did to get the felony aiding and abetting charge, which actually should have been conspiracy to commit murder:

Saturday News: Bigoted birds of a feather

TRUMP PARDONS RACIAL-PROFILING EX-SHERIFF JOE ARPAIO: President Donald Trump announced Friday evening that he is pardoning controversial former sheriff Joe Arpaio, who had been convicted of criminal contempt. In a statement, Trump called Arpaio a “worthy candidate” for a presidential pardon and said his life exemplifies “selfless public service.” On July 31, Arpaio was convicted of criminal contempt of court after he was deemed to have deliberately ignored a federal judge’s order to stop detaining people solely on the belief that they were in the country illegally, per USA Today. Arpaio, the sheriff of Mericopa County, Arizona, which includes Phoenix, and his deputies continued to do so for 17 months after the judge’s order, in a move that many accused of being racial profiling.


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