Biden praised Republican in paid speech, Democrat lost race

There really is no good way to spin this:

Mr. Biden stunned Democrats and elated Republicans by praising Mr. Upton while the lawmaker looked on from the audience. Alluding to Mr. Upton’s support for a landmark medical-research law, Mr. Biden called him a champion in the fight against cancer — and “one of the finest guys I’ve ever worked with.”

Mr. Biden’s remarks, coming amid a wide-ranging discourse on American politics, quickly appeared in Republican advertising. The local Democratic Party pleaded with Mr. Biden to repair what it saw as a damaging error, to no avail. On Nov. 6, Mr. Upton defeated his Democratic challenger by four and a half percentage points.

That's right, while Barack Obama was busting his ass (and not getting paid for it) to help make the Blue Wave happen, good ol' Joe was earning $200,000 to help get a Republican re-elected. Of course, his people deny this, and try to play it off as some sort of coincidence, but this was a scant three weeks before the election. Both Biden and his staff had to know this was a monumentally bad idea, which makes these rationalizations even more infuriating:

Thursday News: The company you keep

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BURR CAMPAIGN ILLEGALLY COORDINATED WITH NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION IN 2016: The complaint comes from American Bridge 21st Century, a liberal super PAC that opposes Republican candidates. American Bridge filed its complaint Wednesday against three Republicans who ran for office in 2016 and 2018. It alleges that the Burr campaign and the NRA’s Political Victory Fund worked together to “create, produce and distribute coordinated public communications in the form of television advertisements.” The complaint is based on a Mother Jones story published earlier this month. The group says that Burr and the NRA’s fund had similar television ads that aired on the same network (NBC affiliate WECT in Wilmington), during the same weeks, in the same time slots, using the same media vendor and the same person to authorize the media buys (Jon Ferrell). The NRA spent $6.2 million on Burr’s 2016 campaign, its largest-ever expenditure on a non-presidential race at that time, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article224978205.html

LA teachers score victory after short strike

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Could this be a template for North Carolina teachers?

Preliminary numbers show that a "vast supermajority" of union members in Los Angeles have voted to approve a deal with the city's school district — ending the six-day teachers strike. The decision means teachers will head back to class on Wednesday.

Some teachers expressed frustration, saying the deal didn't go far enough, while others said they were relieved. "I'm pretty excited," said Jennifer Liebe-Zelazny, a fourth-grade teacher at Alta Loma Elementary School. "Nobody got everything, but everybody got something."

Before you say, "That's one county, not the whole state," LA County has a bigger population (over 10 million) than North Carolina. A more relevant argument against the comparison would be the difference between a genuine union and an association, because a direct action of this magnitude here would have varying consequences depending on where you teach. But when you look at what they achieved in just six days, it might be worth the risk:

Wednesday News: Denied

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JUDGE REJECTS WRIT OF MANDAMUS FOR HARRIS: A judge on Tuesday denied Republican Mark Harris' effort to be declared the winner of the 9th Congressional District election, saying the incoming State Board of Elections doesn't have to certify the results of the election until an investigation into alleged absentee ballot fraud is completed. Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway denied Harris' motion for a writ of mandamus, which would amount to a court order forcing the elections board to certify the results. Harris has acknowledged hiring Bladen County political operative McCrae Dowless to oversee absentee ballot operations in the county. Several people have told reporters that Dowless paid them to pick up mail-in ballots, a felony under North Carolina law due to tampering concerns. Dowless has, through his attorney, denied any wrongdoing, but he hasn't yet sat down with elections board investigators looking at the 9th District.
https://www.wral.com/judge-rejects-mark-harris-bid-to-be-declared-9th-district-winner/18139441/

Tuesday News: Symbols of oppression

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CITY COUNCIL WILL HEAR PUBLIC COMMENTS ON WINSTON-SALEM CONFEDERATE STATUE TONIGHT: The city council meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday (Jan. 22), and statue opponents are saying on Facebook that they plan to protest the presence of the statue during the public-comment period of the meeting. Some supporters of the statue said earlier this month that they also wanted to speak at the next meeting of the council. The statue, paid for by donations to the United Daughters of the Confederacy and dedicated in 1905, has become a flash point between people who see it as a symbol of racism and people who see it as memorializing Southern soldiers who died in the Civil War. City officials, expressing concern over the potential for violence, has given the UDC until the end of January to move the statue. The owners of the courthouse building has weighed in with the same arguments, saying the statue must go.
https://www.journalnow.com/news/local/confederate-statue-protests-could-be-back-before-winston-salem...

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Once again, all eyes are on the court:

This will be interesting, to say the least. Best thing for the court to do is punt, though, because the House is not about to seat Harris until more is known.

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