BlueNC's blog

Thursday News: It is time

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BREYER TO RETIRE, BIDEN WILL CHOOSE BLACK WOMAN TO TAKE HIS PLACE: In what will be one of the most monumental endeavors of Joe Biden's presidency, the retirement of Stephen Breyer sets the stage for an immensely important decision by the President. Breyer's seat may be the only one that Biden fills on the Supreme Court, and it may not be one he fills at all -- if Republicans retake the Senate before the President's choice for a replacement is confirmed. On the campaign trail, Biden vowed to put a Black woman on the high court, which would be an historic first. A short list of potential nominees had been circulating Washington well before Breyer's retirement plans became public, and officials in the White House Counsel's office built files on various candidates in anticipation of a potential vacancy. Now, those efforts will ramp up significantly and the President will likely hold one on one meetings before announcing his pick. If Breyer's retirement stays on schedule, that will give six months for the current Senate to take care of this properly.
https://www.wral.com/a-shortlist-of-potential-nominees-to-replace-breyer-on-the-supreme-court/20100278/

Wednesday News: Why we need CRT

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SCOTUS SHARPENS ITS KNIVES FOR AFFIRMATIVE ACTION: The U.S. Supreme Court will weigh in on whether colleges and universities can consider race in admissions as it agreed to hear a case brought by an anti-affirmative action group against UNC-Chapel Hill. The group, Students for Fair Admissions, alleges UNC-CH discriminated against white and Asian American applicants by using race as a factor in its undergraduate admissions process. The justices will also hear a similar case against Harvard University brought by the same group. The court consolidated the two cases Monday, allotting a total of one hour for oral arguments. The outcome of these cases could have sweeping implications for affirmative action in higher education and diversity of student bodies on campus. And with the court becoming more conservative in recent years, the fate of race-conscious admissions is in doubt. UNC-CH has defended its admissions process in this legal battle for several years. Funded by right-wing dark money, of course. Seven Degrees of Sarah Scaife. I need to take another shower.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/education/article257655768.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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BIDEN'S COMPASSION AND CONCERN REPLACED SELFISHNESS AND CYNICISM: It is a tough job, being president amid an unprecedented pandemic and working to restore decorum and trust in a degraded institution. The presidency had come more to resemble the dishonesty of trashy reality television than the world’s most powerful voice for democracy. For the last year Biden’s been devoted to doing the job of president -- not shirking obligations or shifting responsibility. In the first year, Biden’s accomplishments have set the nation on a positive path as well as established a strong trajectory for unmet priorities and new initiatives for the coming three years. Biden has demonstrated genuine empathy to the challenges Americans face and works to uplift them as they struggle to cope. It’s not been an easy task to right the meandering and misguided course of Donald Trump’s presidency. And it's the main reason why right-wingers hate him so much; the contrast highlights just how bad a President Trump was.
https://www.wral.com/editorial/20088695/

Saturday News: Slip-sliding away

DELTA FLIGHT SLIDES OFF RDU RUNWAY DUE TO SNOW: The airfield at Raleigh-Durham International Airport reopened after being closed for a little more than an hour Friday night when a plane landed safely but rolled into mud while taxiing, the airport announced on Twitter. Delta Flight 5501 from Washington, D.C., landed safely and rolled off runway 5L/23R, an RDU spokesperson told The News & Observer. A total of 19 passengers were onboard, the spokesperson said, and no injuries were reported. All passengers were safely transported to Terminal 2, the spokesperson added. Airport crews removed snow from alternate runway 5R/23L, the spokesperson said. Runway 5L/23R remains closed while the aircraft is safely towed off the tarmac, the airport said. A total of 10 incoming flights had been diverted to other airports, and four were delayed, according to the airport’s website. I hate when that happens...
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/weather-news/article257578408.html

Friday News: Domestic Terrorist

CARY INSURRECTIONIST BACK WHERE HE BELONGS, IN FEDERAL CUSTODY: On Jan. 6, 2021, when prosecutors say James Grant led the first assault on the U.S. Capitol, the North Carolina man wore a baseball cap with an insignia that bore a map of his home state, along with these words: “Drink Local.” Last month, Grant did just that. Now he’s going back to jail. On Dec. 7, after a bizarre interaction with Garner police in a restaurant parking lot, the 29-year-old Cary man was charged with driving under the influence. Police say they found an AR-15 rifle and 60 rounds of .233-caliber ammunition in Grant’s car. When police tried to arrest him, according to court records, Grant tried to flee. On Jan 6 2021, Grant fought with officers — injuring two — and was later seen inside at least two private Senate offices, documents show. In many ways this guy is even worse than the California dude who joined the Taliban in Afghanistan pre-9/11, and he deserves just as lengthy a jail term.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article257545503.html

Thursday News: Seems about white...

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RESIDENCY CHALLENGED FOR AFRICAN-AMERICAN WAKE SCHOOL BOARD APPOINTEE: Artis, an educator and former teacher, won over most of the board members last week with a promise to make equity issues a focus if he was appointed. But Artis’ educational views and whether he can legally serve in District 4 was questioned Tuesday on social media and at the school board meeting. People pointed out that Artis’ education consulting business still lists his District 1 address on his state business records and that his wife is still registered to vote at the prior address. Artis said Wednesday that he no longer lives with his wife. “Provide proof of Mr. Artis’ residency immediately if you plan to proceed to appoint him to District 4 — and residency as in now, not that he plans to move there some time soon,” Becky Lew-Hobbs said during public comments at Tuesday’s board meeting. Apparently she's miffed because Wake Schools no longer wants her volunteering. And I can see why...
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/education/article257480139.html

Wednesday News: It's complicated...

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CAWTHORN CHALLENGE POSTPONED, BUT NOT FOR LONG: North Carolina law says that in election challenges it’s the accused who has to prove he or she did nothing wrong. So for Cawthorn to be allowed on the ballot, he can’t just sit back and let things play out — he will have to argue why he shouldn’t be banned from running again. That might include letting his accusers, whose attorneys include two former N.C. Supreme Court justices, question him under oath and force him to provide emails, text messages or other documents. “Challengers intend to depose Representative Cawthorn before the hearing, and request subpoenas for witnesses and documents, including documents that Representative Cawthorn or his staff may possess involving the planning of the January 6 events that could shed light on his qualification for office under Section Three,” their legal challenge states. I left out the postponement thing so I could quote those juicy details, but there's just too many moving parts to do it right now.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article257290357.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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A TRUE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS DOESN'T LEAD TO A RESULT "INCOMPATIBLE WITH DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLES": The judges were unwavering in their dislike of the voting districts enacted by the legislature. “This Court neither condones the enacted maps nor their anticipated potential results,” the judges bluntly stated in their 260-page opinion. “Despite our disdain for having to deal with issues that potentially lead to results incompatible with democratic principles and subject our state to ridicule, the Court must remind itself that these maps are the result of a democratic process.” So, the judges say, an undemocratic legislature or congress is fine as long as it was conceived as the result of a “democratic process.” With that concept in place, the political party in power now will be able to control the designation of election districts now and in the future – and draw those lines to perpetuate its majority forever. Republicans destroyed one smoking gun (concept maps), but the other is just as damning: the maps they adopted are so statistically improbable the word impossible fits, without using partisan data to guide them. Which they claim they didn't, adding perjury to their long list of crimes against the people.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-true-democratic-process-doesn-t-lead-to-a-result-incompatible-with-de...

Saturday News: Wayne to the rescue

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GOODWIN CHOSEN TO LEAD NC DMV: Wayne Goodwin, who once led the state Department of Insurance and later the state Democratic Party, has been chosen the new commissioner of the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles. Goodwin replaces former DMV Commissioner Torre Jessup, who stepped down in November to become chief operating officer of the state Department of Information Technology. Goodwin, a lawyer, served two four-year terms as insurance commissioner, an elected office, before losing to Mike Causey in 2016. He was elected chairman of the Democratic Party in early 2017 and served two two-year terms before declining to seek a third last year. Goodwin, 54, grew up in Hamlet and attended UNC Chapel Hill as a Morehead Scholar and later as a law student. Starting in 1997, he served eight years in the state House, representing rural counties east of Charlotte. The epitome of a dedicated public servant, and a longtime BlueNC member and friend. Great news.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article257339272.html

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