Thursday News: The Mandamus gambit

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MARK HARRIS WILL ASK JUDGE TO CERTIFY HIS TAINTED ELECTION: Republican Mark Harris said Wednesday he’ll ask a Wake County Superior Court judge to certify his election in the 9th Congressional District immediately, even as a probe into alleged election fraud continues. Harris’ announcement came after North Carolina state elections officials postponed next week’s hearing into allegations of election fraud in the 9th District — and after Gov. Roy Cooper accused Republicans of blocking the probe. It also came a day before a new Democratic-controlled U.S. House is sworn in, presumably without Harris, the winner of November’s election. Instead of taking a seat in Congress on Thursday, Harris will meet with investigators looking into the fraud allegations in Raleigh, according to a spokesman for the state elections board and Harris’ attorney.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article223836675.html

Put this on your 2019 to-do list: Tracking Dan Forest

One thing that really irks me is when an elected politician spends all his time running for office, getting his photo taken in celebrity poses, and generally being a do-nothing screw off. We see that every day with the Great Orange One ... but it's also true of NC's second-highest elected official, Dan "Photo Op" Forest. With that in mind, I hope you'll join us in keeping tabs on Dan the Scam as he continues to rip off North Carolina taxpayers all day every day.

The Trump Effect: Israeli settlements in West Bank on steroids

The path to a lasting peace is being bricked over:

In 2017, 3,154 tenders were issued, up from just 42 during Obama's final year in office. In 2018, that number rose to over 3,800, the highest number by far since Peace Now started compiling the data in 2002. This sets the stage for a huge jump in construction in the near future.

"There's definitely a change of atmosphere. There's definitely a change of winds," said Oded Revivi, mayor of Efrat, a major settlement near Jerusalem, and the chief foreign envoy of the Yesha settlement council. Revivi said that Obama pressured Israel into greatly curtailing settlement activity. Now, he said, Israel is trying to make up for lost time.

There was a lot going on during the Obama administration to bring some sort of agreement to the table over this problem, and we came tantalizingly close in 2014:

Wednesday News: Dangerous fetish

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IDIOT FIRES GUN INTO THE AIR, COLLEGE STUDENT PAYS THE PRICE: Allyson Cole said she and her roommate, 22-year-old Kaitlyn Kong, watched the Acorn Drop at midnight and were listening to music when Kong suddenly dropped her phone and grabbed both her chest and her friend. "'I’ve been hit. I got hurt really bad,'" Cole said Kong told her. "Her breathing was labored, so I knew something was wrong." Police said the two women were near the intersection of Fayetteville and Davie streets when revelers fired guns in the air at 12:05 a.m. to celebrate the new year during a fireworks display. Kong was taken to WakeMed, where an X-ray revealed an object in her abdomen. Raleigh police said the bullet entered her chest and landed in her abdomen. Based on its trajectory, investigators said they believe the bullet came from above. Cole and Kong's mother, Gwynne Kong, said the bullet nicked one of Kaitlyn Kong's lungs, perforated her diaphragm, went through her stomach and ended up next to her hip.
https://www.wral.com/celebratory-new-year-s-gunfire-seriously-wounds-unc-student-at-first-night-rale...

Tuesday News: The year of racism

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WHITE GIRL + BLACK BOYFRIEND = UGLY RACIST VANDALISM: A Goldsboro family and Wayne County law enforcement officers are asking for the public's help to catch the criminals who torched the family's newly purchased van and spray painted another one with racist and profane hate speech. The family's mother believes they were targeted because her 14-year-old daughter, who is white, currently has a black boyfriend. Amanda Miller said she still can't believe the hate she woke up to last Thursday. "And when you walk out, all you see is a swastika and you're like, 'Oh my gosh, what just happened?'" she said. One of the family's van was covered with spray paint that had expletives and the N-word. The family's other SUV, a 2018 model that was recently bought and financed, was sprayed with racist language. "They're estimating (the damage) at $17,000," Miller said. "We've only made four payments. And we owe $25,000."
https://www.wral.com/goldsboro-family-targeted-with-racist-hate-speech/18096687/

Tuesday Twitter roundup

2019 has a very absurd beginning:

Not sure what his plan is, but if he thinks the staff is going to certify him before a new Board of Elections is put in place, he's been smoking something funky:

2018 at a glance: Florence flooding and Blue Wave cleansing

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Kirk Ross rounds-up a chaotic year:

Although this year started with a continued focus on the GenX story that broke the year before, the two biggest news events of 2018 came much later in the year. On Sept. 14, Hurricane Florence made landfall near Wrightsville Beach and began its slow, devastating journey through the state and into the history books as North Carolina’s worst natural disaster.

Seven weeks later, in a usually sleepy blue moon election cycle, voters turned out in record numbers to unseat enough GOP incumbents in the state House and Senate to end supermajorities in both chambers. The consequences of those two events at the end of the year will drive the public policy debates in the year ahead.

Since this is New Year's Eve, and Democrats have earned the power to help sustain Vetoes by Governor Cooper, it's as good a time as any for them to resolve to do just that. While I do believe Senate and House Dems need to use their influence to "temper" the Legislation put forward from their respective bodies, it is equally important they not allow that activity to undermine efforts by the Governor to also temper that Legislation. Just because you voted for a bill, possibly because you were concerned it would get worse after being tweaked, it doesn't automatically follow you are bound by that prior vote if said bill is Vetoed. You won't be labeled a hypocrite if you sustain a Veto; not by anybody that matters, anyway. And make no mistake, the #1 goal of BergerMoore going forward will be to divide and conquer Democrats. The last thing the Governor needs is a handful of Dems ready to cross the aisle and block his attempts to govern, because he's been fighting to retain that authority during every session:

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