Tuesday News: 6 years of CHIP


FEDERAL GOVERNMENT BACK IN BUSINESS VIA CONTINUING RESOLUTION: Congress has approved a bipartisan agreement to re-open the federal government after a three-day partial shutdown. The House approved the bill, 266-150, hours after the Senate backed it, 81-18. President Donald Trump is expected to quickly sign the measure to fund government operations through Feb. 8. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., introduced the deal, which provides full funding for the federal government through Feb. 8 and reauthorizes the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, saying “we need to move forward.” The proposal includes a commitment to take up immigration issues, including the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, policy before the new Feb. 8 deadline.

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Also not surprising to anyone who's been watching:

Standard operating procedure in Popeland. If a poll or report does *not* originate from a Koch-funded right-wing institution, there must be some inherent bias in it. That's the danger of living with propaganda for so long: pretty soon the real stuff seems out of whack.

GOP lawyers will appeal Special Master maps to U.S. Supreme Court

Which comes as a surprise to absolutely nobody:

The GOP lawmakers’ lawyers filed Sunday a motion asking the federal judges stay their order accepting new boundary lines from a special master while legislators appeal that order to the U.S. Supreme Court. They want a decision by Monday because they plan to request a similar delay before the Supreme Court if the judges deny it.

The judges ruled Friday that lines the General Assembly approved last summer still contained unconstitutional boundaries. The GOP lawyers say altering districts would create confusion weeks before candidate filing, adding judges used a “fundamentally flawed” test to determine whether illegal racial gerrymandering remained.

Bolding mine, because this is the height of arrogance. Republicans are basically saying, "Please delay your ruling, because you're all idiots." Like all bullies, they just can't keep from insulting people they're dealing with. It becomes second nature, and like Donald Trump, it is spawned out of a massive ego and overly-inflated sense of self-worth. The only cure for that is a Blue Wave.

Monday News: Pay to play golf?


JIMMY DIXON EARMARKS $830,000 FOR HOG FARMER'S GOLF RESORT: Over the past few years, a pumping station at River Landing in Duplin County has struggled to keep up with the sewage flow at the upscale golf community started by hog farming magnate Wendell Murphy and his family. Sewage has spilled at least three times from the station, and in one case made it to a pond close by. But this earmark primarily benefits a business co-founded by a powerful former state lawmaker who has long supported politicians of both parties with campaign donations. That includes Dixon, who was elected to the legislature in 2010. Since 2011, Murphy, his family and employees have given Dixon $42,750 in political contributions and in-kind support, such as food for a fundraiser, state campaign finance records show. Dixon and Jeffery Turner, executive vice president of Murphy Family Ventures, which developed River Landing, say political contributions had nothing to do with the appropriation.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


COMMON SENSE DACA RENEWAL DESERVES NC DELEGATION'S SUPPORT: There no rational reason not to both extend and provide a path to citizenship for those who came to this nation as children, not of their own doing. Most consider this nation as their own – they’ve never known anything else. They attend U.S. schools and colleges and many hold jobs and are embarking on careers in their communities. Cold-hearted sentiments, reflected recently by North Carolina U.S. Rep. George Holding, are unrealistic and amount to holding these kids hostage to prevailing partisan winds and political pandering to a hyper-ideological fringe. Making a child responsible for the actions of their parents is, frankly, dumbfounding. “Breaking the law has consequences and that will flow down to your children,” Holding said. Really? This is no small issue. North Carolina ranks seventh in the number of immigrants in the DACA program. There are more than 42,000 North Carolina residents eligible for DACA deferrals according to the Migration Policy Institute, a Washington think tank.

Saturday News: Shut down


GOP REFUSAL TO FIX DACA FORCES FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN: The federal government shut down at the stroke of midnight Friday, halting all but the most essential operations and marring the one-year anniversary of President Donald Trump's inauguration in a striking display of Washington dysfunction. Last-minute negotiations crumbled as Senate Democrats blocked a four-week stopgap extension in a late-night vote, causing the fourth government shutdown in a quarter century. Behind the scenes, however, leading Republicans and Democrats were trying to work out a compromise to avert a lengthy shutdown. Social Security and most other safety net programs are unaffected by the lapse in federal spending authority. Critical government functions will continue, with uniformed service members, health inspectors and law enforcement officers set to work without pay. But if no deal is brokered before Monday, hundreds of thousands of federal employees will be furloughed.

Court orders Special Master's maps be used for 2018 Legislative races

This is a different case than what the US Supreme Court just ruled on. Sorry for the confusion (if you were confused, that is), and I will add "Congressional" to the title of the earlier story.

Trump White House: A culture of unethical behavior

It doesn't take a year to fill out financial disclosure forms:

A year into Donald Trump’s presidency, records show five of his top staffers still have not secured final approval of their financial reports — disclosures that are required by law to ensure Americans that these senior officials aren’t personally benefiting from their White House jobs. Another four staffers received certification by the Office of Government Ethics after McClatchy first requested their forms last month.

The delay is likely due to Trump staffers either refusing to disclose mandated information to OGE, failing to resolve a conflict of interest or violating an ethics law or regulation, according to two ethics experts familiar with the long-standing process.

If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, personally profits from government actions it helps facilitate like a duck, it's probably a corrupt duck. While a U.S. President (is supposed to) provide a leadership example for the rest of the world, he (or she) also provides an example to Cabinet and staff. And apparently Trump's example is, "We are above the law, and we can do whatever the hell we want." Here are a few of the more questionable violators:

Friday News: Gerrymandering rollercoaster


SUPREME COURT SIDES WITH GOP AND BLOCKS NEW CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT MAPS: The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday stayed the decision of a lower court ordering North Carolina lawmakers to redraw the state's congressional districts by next week. A panel of three federal judges recently struck down the map drawn in 2016 as excessively partisan and demanded a new map be completed by Jan. 24. At the same time, the judges wanted to appoint an independent expert to draw a second map for them to consider. When the judges refused to stay their order, lawmakers appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing that rushing out a new map would throw elections into chaos. Candidate filing for congressional and other offices starts Feb. 12. The 7-2 ruling by the Supreme Court means the map drawn in 2016 will be used in the May primaries and this fall's elections.


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