I'm ex-military, served in the US Navy from 1968 to 1977. I spent three years jumping out of aircraft in conflict zones as part of an advance team of naval gunfire spotters. I was lucky. I never got shot at.

Unlike so many cowards in Congress, I've actually put my life on the line for this country. Most of the time we were doing things that needed to be done, in my opinion. Trying to keep dictators and Nazis at bay.

Thursday News: Partial victory


COURT DRAWS NEW CONGRESSIONAL MAP, BUT ACCEPTS LEGISLATIVE ONES: The judges overseeing the lawsuit ruled that they would accept the newly redrawn versions of maps for the N.C. House and N.C. Senate that lawmakers passed — but not the new congressional map. Instead of taking the legislature’s congressional map, or the proposed maps drawn by the challengers in the case, the judges had a group of outside experts draw a new congressional map for the state. An analysis of the map drawn by the outside experts shows it would have more safe seats for Democratic candidates, and fewer tossup seats, than the map the Republican-led legislature had drawn. This is now the second version of GOP-drawn congressional maps to be snubbed by the judicial system in recent weeks. And unlike the Supreme Court, this panel of judges has a Republican majority. This could (very easily) make the difference in whether Dems can keep the majority in the U.S. House or not. I'll take it.

Wednesday News: True public servant

DURHAM COUNCILOR CHARLIE REECE RESIGNS, HEADED TO EUROPE: Council member Charlie Reece announced Monday night that he will resign from the Durham City Council effective March 7. Reece said his wife will need to temporarily spend a substantial amount of time in Europe for business. “Early last year, our family business began exploring the idea of buying a European company in order to expand our business opportunities there,” Reece said. “Two months ago, we did just that, and as a result, our Chief Executive Officer, who also happens to be my lovely wife, Dr. Laura Helms Reece, will need to spend a lot of time working in Europe for the foreseeable future,” he said. Laura Reece has been the CEO of Rho, a full service contract research organization based in Chapel Hill, since 2011. You will be missed, but you leave a great example to follow.

Monday News: Twenty two thousand, one hundred forty eight


COVID HOSPITALIZATIONS IN NC SLIP BELOW 3,000, BUT 480 ARE IN ICU: At least 2,559,793 coronavirus cases have been reported in North Carolina, and at least 22,148 people have died since March 2020, according to state health officials. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Friday, Feb. 18, reported 4,871 new COVID-19 cases, down from 5,583 the day before. An additional 87 coronavirus-related deaths were added to the total. At least 2,634 people were reported hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Feb. 18, including 480 adults being treated in intensive care units, health officials said. The total patient count was down from 2,711 the previous day, according to state health officials. As of Feb. 16, the latest date with available information, 10.3% of coronavirus tests were reported positive. Keep wearing your mask, this ain't over yet.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


WILL HYPER-GERRYMANDERING UNDO NC LEGISLATIVE LEADERS' IDEOLOGICAL AGENDA? While the topic of the debate Monday before North Carolina’s Supreme Court was the constitutionality of an amendment to require voter show photo identification to be allowed to cast a ballot, the central issue and the key point in the case is actually about gerrymandering. That point made by Kym Hunter, the lawyer representing the NAACP, is why she contends the constitutional amendment should be declared void. "We have seen in North Carolina precisely how bad things can get when a racially gerrymandered legislature is allowed to run amok and abuse its power in the dying days of its power. And for that reason we ask that you uphold the ruling of the Superior Court and rule that a racially gerrymandered General Assembly cannot rely on those racially gerrymandered districts to achieve the supermajority.” The bottom line is, they knew they were running out of time to move forward their extreme agenda, so they grabbed more cookies from the jar.

Saturday News: There goes the neighborhood...

PROPOSED U.S. HOUSE MAP PUTS MOST OF ALAMANCE IN DISTRICT 4: The legislature has passed what could be the final version of North Carolina’s potential legislative and U.S. House districts. The N.C. Supreme Court ordered state lawmakers to redraw districts for state House and Senate and Congress after determining that districts released in November were drawn to give Republicans an unfair advantage. Now judges have until Feb. 23 to approve the new maps, and filing is scheduled to resume the next day in order for North Carolina’s primary to take place on May 17. Proposed Senate map: Caswell, Durham, Orange, Person and parts of Alamance and Granville. (Incumbent: David Price) Overturned map: Cumberland, Harnett, Johnston, Sampson and part of Wayne. Old map: Durham, Franklin, Granville, Orange and parts of Chatham, Wake and Vance. Taking a point of personal privilege here, because if this map sticks, this will be the first time (in a long time) that Alamance County will have a Democratic Representative in the U.S. House. Giggity.


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