KEITH KIDWELL WANTS TO TEAR OPEN VOTING MACHINES FOR NO GOOD REASON: Caucus members want to look for illegal, internet-connected modems that may have been inserted into the machines to let someone remotely change vote counts. But they also admit they have no evidence that any such modems exist. “I’m very hopeful and very confident that there’ll be nothing,” Kidwell said. But now that the elections board won’t let them open the machines, Kidwell and the Freedom Caucus have begun questioning whether state elections director Karen Brinson Bell or others are trying to hide something. So on Thursday morning, they called a press conference. “Mrs. Brinson Bell has decided to put up a wall,” Kidwell said. “And we plan to go through that wall.” Says the idiot who got re-elected.
MARK ROBINSON'S "INDOCTRINATION TASK FORCE" IS THE NEW MCCARTHYISM: Many submissions named specific teachers and the schools at which they teach. One submitter complained about a university education student, by name, who had refused to engage in a debate with them on social media about critical race theory and noted they had also complained to the student’s university about them. The documents the Lt. Governor’s Office provided to WRAL redacted the names of those who complained but not the names of educators mentioned in the submissions. “It's McCarthyism. It's the Red Scare all over again,” said Lauren Piner, a high school history teacher at South Central High School in Pitt County. “Instead of looking for, you know, Soviets and Marxists in Hollywood and in the government, we're looking for them in our classrooms.” It’s not clear what the task force would do if it were to conclude that indoctrination had occurred. But state lawmakers have alluded to the task force as being a useful repository for identifying teachers who may be in violation of an anti-indoctrination bill Republicans are pushing in the General Assembly. That bill also doesn’t list penalties for violating it, should it become law.
FEDERAL JUDGE IN TEXAS RULES AGAINST OBAMA'S DACA PROGRAM: Immigrants and advocates are urging Democrats and President Joe Biden to quickly act on legislation to protect young immigrants after a federal judge in Texas on Friday ruled illegal an Obama-era program that prevents the deportation of thousands of them brought into the U.S. as children. Plaintiffs have vowed to appeal the decision by U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen, who declared the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program illegal, barring the government from approving any new applications, but leaving the program intact for existing recipients. Calling the ruling a “blaring siren” for Democrats, United We Dream Executive Director Greisa Martinez Rosas said they would be solely to blame if legislative reform doesn't happen. “Until the president and Democrats in Congress deliver on citizenship, the lives of millions will remain on the line," Martinez Rosas said. Hanen ruled in favor of Texas and eight other conservative states that sued to halt DACA, which provides limited protections to about 650,000 people. Appointed by Bush the Younger.
THE NATIONAL GUARD NEEDS TO BE REIMBURSED FOR JAN 6 INSURRECTION DUTY: Military officials warned on Friday that the National Guard will be forced to make drastic cuts starting next month if Congress does not reimburse expenses incurred while defending the U.S. Capitol after the Jan. 6 insurrection. Training exercises and drill weekends will probably be canceled and thousands of full-time employees put on furlough, Guard leaders told reporters. Aircraft will be grounded and maintenance delayed, they warned. In effect, any account that Guard units drained to float the more than $520 million security mission will be a potential area for cuts, risking their ability to respond to the next domestic emergency that arises. “This will have an effect across the 50 states and the District of Columbia,” said Brig. Gen. Craig Strong, a deputy director of programming with the National Guard Bureau. “There is an effect on their readiness accounts to train and equip the soldiers and airmen. . . . This impact is definitely a national situation.” This spring, the House narrowly approved a $1.9 billion measure to cover the mobilization and pay for security improvements to the Capitol complex, including additional screening checkpoints, hardened windows and doors, and a new quick reaction force to be housed with the D.C. Guard. But Republicans opposed spending so much on upgrades before Congress takes additional steps to determine and correct what went wrong.
CLIMATE CHANGE CAUSES RECORD RAINFALL, MASSIVE FLOODING IN EUROPE: The death toll in Germany climbed to at least 133 on Saturday, while the toll across the border in Belgium stood at 24, the authorities there said. The count rose most sharply in Germany’s Ahrweiler district in Rhineland-Palatinate State, where the police said that more than 90 people had died and the authorities feared that the number could yet grow. By Saturday, hundreds of people still remained unaccounted for across Western Europe. But the authorities have struggled to offer precise estimates: Electricity and telephone services remain inaccessible in parts of Germany, and some roads are still impassable. In Belgium, police officers took to knocking on doors in an effort to confirm the whereabouts of vulnerable residents. Still, with floodwaters receding across parts of the region, the scale of the damage seemed certain to become clearer. Firefighters and soldiers began the daunting task of clearing debris, unclogging roads and assessing damaged buildings. Extreme downpours like the ones that hit Germany are one of the most visible signs that the climate is changing as a result of global warming from greenhouse gas emissions. Studies have shown a warmer atmosphere can hold more moisture, generating more rainfall. Floods of this size have not been seen in 500 or even 1,000 years, according to meteorologists and German officials. Days before roiling waters tore through western Germany, a European weather agency had issued an extreme flood warning, as models showed that storms would send rivers surging to levels that had not been seen in hundreds of years. The warnings, however, did little good.