NC GOP

The battle against Gerrymandering in NC continues

And once again the courts are our only refuge:

The Republicans' majorities give them the power next year to redraw state and congressional district maps for the next decade based on 2020 census figures. Republicans also controlled the last round of redistricting, in the 2010s. The maps they drew landed them in court multiple times after Democrats challenged them, and judicial rulings declaring illegal gerrymanders forced redraws in 2017 and 2019. The governor's veto power doesn't extend to the maps.

There is literally nothing to stop Republicans from pulling the same crap they did back in 2011. Meaning, they could (and probably will) draw the maps to give themselves Veto-proof majorities in the General Assembly once again, subverting the 2022 Election. It's like almost climbing out of a deep pit, but sliding back down to the bottom again. We must use the courts to force transparency of every single aspect of the redistricting process; every piece of data they plan to use and every jagged line on a map. No "trust the process," no "benefit of the doubt." They can't be trusted, and they must be doubted.

Environmental justice should be one of your top five priorities

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At the intersection of pollution and socioeconomic despair:

We can see the through lines between climate change, polluting industries, and COVID-19 at North Carolina’s numerous factory farms. These farms, which can contain millions of hogs, chickens, and turkeys, struggle to keep hazardous animal waste pits called “lagoons” from repeatedly washing away due to hurricane flooding. Toxic animal waste pollutes river basins and streams, and flows into the Atlantic Ocean, creating algal blooms that harm aquatic ecosystems. In addition, some of the largest COVID-19 outbreaks in our area are with Black and Brown factory farm workers who’ve been denied proper protective equipment. Separately, factory farms, climate change, and the COVID-19 pandemic are all extremely dangerous; but combined, lagoons overflowed by hurricanes and the poor working conditions that sicken workers are killing people, the economy, and the ecosystem.

These problems simply cannot be fixed from the top-down. Zoning is one of the major factors in environmental injustice, and that is (for the most part) a local government function. Zoning maps that were created in the 20th Century are usually only updated every ten years or so, and those updates are "tweaks," mostly focused on expanding population. The inequities built into that system (industrial zones near black neighborhoods) rarely come under scrutiny, and the refusal to zone in unincorporated areas by county commissioners is even worse. It's a major health problem for communities of color, and has gotten worse since the NIH studied it 20 years ago:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

I agree with almost all of this, except this recommendation for Chief Justice Roberts:

Trump will go down in history as the anti-environment President

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Endangering the health of citizens and ecosystems alike:

The bulk of the rollbacks identified by the Times have been carried out by the Environmental Protection Agency, which has weakened Obama-era limits on planet-warming carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and from cars and trucks; removed protections from more than half the nation's wetlands; and withdrawn the legal justification for restricting mercury emissions from power plants.

At the same time, the Interior Department has worked to open up more land for oil and gas leasing by limiting wildlife protections and weakening environmental requirements for projects.

Before we get into the details of Trump's transgressions against the environment, here's another angle to consider: NC's Republican Legislative leaders pushed hard to restrict DENR (now DEQ) from enacting rules that were tougher that EPA guidelines, arguing the Federal rules were "more than enough" to protect our air and water. But have you seen those Republicans taking any steps to counter all these Trump rollbacks? That's a rhetorical question, because of course not. They simply don't care about the environment, clean water, breathable air, etc. Not on their radar, period. Back to Trump:

Trump and BergerMoore whine to Supreme Court about ballot extension

They're just throwing shit against the wall to see what will stick:

President Donald Trump’s campaign and North Carolina’s Republican legislative leaders asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday to return the state to a shorter deadline for accepting late-arriving absentee ballots postmarked by Election Day.

The legislative leaders argue in their appeal that the longer deadline, which was extended after early voting had begun, will result in unequal treatment of voters and dilute the value of ballots cast before the rule was changed.

What? Seriously, what? Even if those later ballots somehow did "dilute" the value of earlier votes cast, refusing to count the later ballots makes their value absolutely zero. But of course there is no dilution, this is just another "divide and conquer" tactic by Republicans. Trying to pit voters who mailed their ballots in early against those who didn't. Create a conflict where one doesn't exist, and then ask the court to settle that conflict. It's a variation of a strawman logical fallacy, but in this case, the strawman is the victim, not the antagonist. I agree with Josh Stein 100%:

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