CONSERVATIVE BOOGEYMAN GEORGE SOROS INVESTED IN TED BUDD'S FAMILY BUSINESS: There are few people more maligned in ultra-conservative circles than George Soros, the Hungarian-born investor and philanthropist who has donated millions to Democratic causes and candidates. U.S. Rep. Ted Budd, a Donald Trump-backed candidate in North Carolina’s 2022 U.S. Senate race, has a loose business connection with the billionaire activist, according to records with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. A Soros investment firm was the largest shareholder of AgriBioTech, a seed company led by Budd’s father that filed for bankruptcy in 2000, securities filings show. Budd was a shareholder but was not an officer. Right-wing zealots have accused me of being on Soros' payroll, to which I responded, "I wish!" :)
APPARENTLY MADISON CAWTHORN BROUGHT A KNIFE INTO A SCHOOL (BOARD MEETING): A North Carolina school system contacted a sheriff’s office after a report that U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn brought a knife to a school board meeting that he attended to oppose the district’s COVID-19 mask mandate. On Monday, Cawthorn spoke to the school board in Henderson County. The next day, one of his political opponents released a photo that appears to show that he had a knife in a sheath attached to the bottom of his wheelchair. And a group opposing Cawthorn’s reelection to Congress reported him to local law enforcement. “I don’t really know anything about that,” Cawthorn said when asked about the allegations after speaking at a school board meeting in Johnston County on Tuesday. “I’ll have to look into it, but I don’t know anything about it.” Dude, it's your fucking chair. Acting like you don't know if something was strapped on it is peak stupid.
NC REPUBLICANS TRY TO TAKE POWER AWAY FROM AG JOSH STEIN: North Carolina's attorney general would no longer be able to settle lawsuits against the state without the approval of legislative leaders, under a bill heading to Gov. Roy Cooper. In a 58-47 party-line vote, the House gave final approval to Senate Bill 360 on Wednesday. The measure states that, if the state's top lawmakers are part of a lawsuit, either as defendants or interveners, it can't be settled without their permission. The bill was drafted in response to a settlement last fall that changed the state's absentee ballot rules, allowing a later deadline for mailed ballots and ballots to be accepted without a witness signature. Although lawmakers considered the changes last summer, expecting a spike in absentee voting during the pandemic, they rejected them. But after left-leaning groups and attorneys with connections to the Democratic Party sued the State Board of Elections over the state's rules for mailed ballots, the state Attorney General's Office settled the lawsuit. "It throws doubt on to our elections, and it creates chaos," he said. "Let a court decide [a dispute], let a jury decide or a judge. Don't let it be decided in a scam settlement that changes the rules that [the legislature] has passed." Oh, you mean like when the UNC BOG pushed Confederates to file a lawsuit so they could throw a bunch of money at them? Speak up, I didn't hear that.
BIG-TIME NC REPUBLICAN DONOR IS REQUIRING EMPLOYEES TO GET VACCINATED: SAS is telling its employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or face possible termination. So is drug giant Merck, which has a growing presence in North Carolina. “With the FDA approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and the federal government’s recent Executive Orders, SAS is now mandating that all US SAS employees must be vaccinated against COVID-19 regardless of their work arrangement (fully remote, hybrid, on-campus),” a spokesperson told WRAL TechWire. “Employees who are not vaccinated or granted an accommodation could be subject to actions, including termination,” he added. The spokesperson noted that people applying for jobs also face the vaccination requirement. “Anyone hired to work at SAS is required to have proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or go through a medical or religious accommodations process,” he added. SAS has more than 12,400 employees worldwide. Of those, just over 5,000 work at the company’s headquarters campus in Cary. Jim Goodnight still has a lot to answer for considering how much Republicans have screwed up our state.
GENERAL MARK MILLEY MAY HAVE AVERTED WAR WITH CHINA: Secret calls from Milley to Gen. Li Zuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army in October and January are detailed in a book by Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward and national political reporter Robert Costa. Col. Dave Butler, a spokesman for Milley, said Wednesday that Milley had acted constitutionally and within his established responsibilities. In a statement, Butler said Milley “continues to act and advise within his authority in the lawful tradition of civilian control of the military and his oath to the Constitution.” Butler’s statement largely confirmed the reporting in the book. The first call was prompted by Milley’s review of intelligence suggesting the Chinese believed the United States was preparing to attack. That belief, the authors write, was based on tensions over military exercises in the South China Sea, and deepened by Trump’s belligerent rhetoric toward China. In the second call, placed to address Chinese fears about the events of Jan. 6, Li wasn’t as easily assuaged, even after Milley promised him, “We are 100 percent steady. Everything’s fine. But democracy can be sloppy sometimes,” the authors write. I have no doubt the Chinese were concerned when they saw video footage of Trumpers ransacking the Capitol building. Milley should get (another) medal for doing this.