Wednesday News: She's right, you know

VP KAMALA HARRIS TO ADVOCATE FOR UNION JOBS IN NC: Vice President Kamala Harris will visit Durham Wednesday to promote “good-paying, union jobs” in North Carolina — one of the country’s least friendly states to union activity. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh will join the vice president to discuss “the Biden-Harris administration’s investments in our workers,” Harris’ office said in a statement. Location details for their visit had not been announced as of Tuesday afternoon. North Carolina features the country’s second lowest union activity, according to figures from the U.S. Dept. of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. North Carolina and South Carolina have routinely traded rank as America’s least unionized state, with 2.6% and 1.7% of workers, respectively, belonging to unions in 2021. This is refreshing. Many elected Dems are glad to receive support from unions, but shy away from promoting them. NC needs unions more than ever these days.

Monday News: Twenty two thousand, five hundred


ONE IN FOUR NORTH CAROLINA ADULTS STILL NOT VACCINATED: At least 2.5 million coronavirus cases have been reported in North Carolina, and at least 22,500 people have died since March 2020, according to state health officials. At least 1,861 people were reported hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Feb. 25, including 367 adults being treated in intensive care units, health officials said. As of Feb. 25, the latest day for which data is available, 7.1% of coronavirus tests were reported positive. Roughly 75% of adults in North Carolina have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, and about 71% are fully vaccinated. Of the state’s total population, about 61% are fully vaccinated and about 65% have received at least one dose. State officials round vaccination numbers to the nearest whole number. Anti-mask and anti-vaccine protesters, some of them dressed in Proud Boys costumes, gathered in downtown Raleigh on Friday to rally against COVID-19 mandates, The News & Observer reported. Calling them "adults" is kind of a stretch, though.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


"LIBERTY" ISN'T A LICENSE FOR SELF-INTEREST: It is out of concerns for public health – especially during the current COVID-19 pandemic -- that prompt mandates for safety mask wearing and requirements for vaccinations. Beyond the legitimate reasons of the relatively very few who have specific personal health or religious concerns, these regulations are about the good of the community. Those who oppose them are, quite frankly seeking to legitimize their own self-interest – for personal reasons or to exploit political divisiveness. Those who cry “freedom” in their refusal to wear a safety mask are, in fact, denying freedom to those, for example people who have suppressed immunities or are otherwise vulnerable, who truly are not able to take or benefit from more widely available safety measures. To understand the consequences of this kind of self-interest, visit a hospital – particularly in a rural community. The facilities are overwhelmed. Emergency rooms are jammed and urgent treatment delayed. Hospital rooms are filled with the overflow in hallways, lying on gurneys. Care workers – doctors, nurses and other critical staff are overworked and stressed. For nearly two years they have performed heroically. They deserve our praise -- and more so our cooperation that would ease their burden. It is said there are three main characteristics that define whether a living creature is "sentient": the ability to feel emotions, awareness of your own mortality, and the desire to protect the weak and infirm of your species. These anti-maskers definitely possess the first characteristic, but the second and third seem to be missing. There are animal species that score better on that scale.

Saturday News: Bending the Arc

PRESIDENT BIDEN NOMINATES KETANJI BROWN JACKSON TO SUPREME COURT: “For too long, our government, our courts, haven’t looked like America,” Biden said Friday at the White House as he stood alongside Brown Jackson and Vice President Kamala Harris. Born in Washington, D.C., Brown Jackson, 51, spent the bulk of her youth in South Florida where her father, Johnny Brown, worked as an attorney for the Miami-Dade School Board and her mother, Ellery Brown, worked as a high school principal. After earning her graduate and law degrees from Harvard University, Brown Jackson early in her career served as law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, the retiring justice she’s been tapped to succeed. Progressive groups applauded the selection of Brown Jackson, arguing she would bring a needed perspective to the court as it weighs a host of issues that affect women and communities of color. No doubt Republican operatives are digging furiously to find anything they can use to criticize her. Or they will just make something up, which is just fine post-Trump.

The Russian Caucus in the US House of Representatives

How about this for a thought experiment?

Imagine for a moment that Joe Biden adopted the behaviors and mentality of Vladimir Putin, becoming a ruthless autocrat.

Now imagine what would happen to members of the US Congressional caucus who have been rushing to criticize Biden at every turn. I'm talking about people like Elise Stefanik, Maddie Cawthorn, Gym Jordon, and Tom Cotton.

Friday News: Help wanted


CAWTHORN'S CANDIDACY CHALLENGE NO LONGER VALID UNDER NEW MAPS: The court-ordered redraw of North Carolina's congressional map voids, for the moment, an effort to keep U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn off the ballot in North Carolina, though challengers are expected to regroup and file again. Cawthorn initially filed to run in North Carolina's 13th Congressional District, which at the time ran west of Charlotte. But the redraw completed Wednesday shifted district lines and shuffled district numbers. Now the 13th District covers southern Wake County and areas to the south. Until Cawthorn formally withdraws from that district to run in another, which he is expected to do, Cawthorn is a candidate in the new 13th. And to challenge his candidacy, the voters involved have to be district residents. None of them are, and a letter went out to their lawyers Thursday from the North Carolina State Board of Elections, declaring their effort "no longer valid under North Carolina law." Wherever he decides to run, we need voters to take up the challenge. You can't run, and you can't hide.


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