Saturday News: Stay in your lane, dude

CAWTHORN TRIES TO WIELD UNDUE INFLUENCE OVER BUNCOMBE SCHOOL BOARD: Congressman Madison Cawthorn made a surprise appearance at the meeting. Cawthorn, who represents North Carolina's 11th Congressional District, said he has several concerns with requiring children to wear masks. “Number one reason is looking at the scientific data that backs up how many children are getting infected with COVID-19. If they are getting infected, exactly how severely is it,” Cawthorn said. “It’s a very low, low, low percentage.” On Thursday night, 33 people took to the podium at the board’s regularly scheduled meeting to voice their concerns. Some, like Stephanie Parsons, called the decision unconstitutional. “We are a republic,” Parsons said. “We are not a autocracy. You are not dictators, and you do not get to tell us what we can and cannot do with our children.” The irony of someone wailing about "autocracy" who is also likely a Trump supporter is overwhelming.

LOW VACCINATION COUNTIES IN NC ARE ALSO "MASK OPTIONAL" FOR STUDENTS: As COVID cases once again surge across North Carolina, more of the state’s school districts are choosing to make indoor masking optional. But in three quarters of those districts, county vaccination rates are below 50%. The News & Observer is tracking the mask policies of North Carolina’s 115 total school districts, most of which are organized by county, but with some city school districts inside those counties. State guidelines in the StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit (K-12) align with CDC recommendations for universal indoor masking in all schools, kindergarten through grade 12. As of Aug. 6, 54 of North Carolina’s 115 districts have decided on optional masking, while at least 43 districts have decided to require masking in schools. Not all counties have decided on or announced their mask policy. It's also ironic that parents who claim to be staunch protectors of their children are also more likely to put them in danger (anti-vax, easily accessible guns, etc.).

RALEIGH ZEBRA COBRA DUMBASS TAKES PLEA DEAL, LOSING ALL HIS SNAKES: A plea deal means the owner of a venomous zebra cobra that escaped in North Raleigh will avoid a trial on dozens of charges. Chris Gifford, 21, of Raleigh, must turn over $35,000 worth of snakes and pay $13,162 in restitution for, among other things, the police and EMS response to the loose snake. The snakes will be used for cancer research and anti-venom development. Gifford also promised not to possess any other snakes for a year. Gifford was charged last month with 40 misdemeanors, one of which was that he failed to notify authorities last November that the deadly snake had escaped. The other charges were for not having proper locks on the enclosures where snakes were kept in his home and for not properly labeling some enclosures. Under the plea agreement entered with the state Friday, which took two hours in court to settle, 39 of those charges were dismissed. No step on Snek.

LOUIS DEJOY SET TO MAKE MILLIONS FROM POSTAL CONTRACT TO XPO LOGISTICS: The U.S. Postal Service will pay $120 million over the next five years to a major logistics contractor that Postmaster General Louis DeJoy previously helped lead and with which his family maintains financial ties, according to DeJoy’s financial disclosure statements. The new contract will deepen the Postal Service’s relationship with XPO Logistics, where DeJoy served as supply chain chief executive from 2014 to 2015 after the company purchased New Breed Logistics, the trucking firm he owned for more than 30 years. Since he became postmaster general, DeJoy, DeJoy-controlled companies and his family foundation have divested between $65.4 million and $155.3 million worth of XPO shares, according to financial disclosures, foundation tax documents and securities filings. But DeJoy’s family businesses continue to lease four North Carolina office buildings to XPO, according to his financial disclosures and state property records. The leases could generate up to $23.7 million in rent payments for the DeJoy businesses over the next decade, according to a person who shared details of the agreements with The Washington Post but spoke anonymously to discuss confidential financial arrangements. In 2018, when DeJoy sat on the company’s board, XPO reported similar figures with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The leases run until 2025 and can be extended until 2030, according to those filings. Between this and his campaign donation scheme using employees as straw donors, there is more than adequate reasons to have him removed. Somebody needs to act, and that includes Lorrin Freeman.

TWO JAN 6 INSURRECTIONISTS PLEAD GUILTY, PROBABLY GET FIVE YEARS: A New Jersey gym owner and a Washington state man on Friday became the first people to plead guilty to assaulting police in the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, facing what they acknowledged in plea deals could be roughly three to five years in prison under sentencing guidelines. The agreements by Scott K. Fairlamb, 44, of Sussex, N.J., and Devlyn D. Thompson, 28, of Seattle, set potential benchmarks for what at least 165 defendants charged with assaulting or impeding officers could expect if they cooperate. Fairlamb, a former mixed martial arts competitor, admitted to shoving and punching a D.C. police officer, identified in plea papers by the initials Z.B. “Are you an American? Act like it!” Fairlamb screamed before the attack in a scene captured on video. Fairlamb has prior convictions for illegal possession of a handgun and simple and aggravated assault, according to plea papers. Thompson admitted to using a baton to strike at an officer deploying pepper spray during what prosecutors called the most violent confrontation between police and rioters at the Capitol, inside the archway and tunnel of the West Terrace’s ceremonial entrance. Compare and contrast: A (black) texas woman was sentenced to five years for trying to cast a vote while still on probation, and these guys violently assaulted police while trying to overthrow our government. The next time some jackass whines about CRT, remember this.