Monday News: Bootlicker


MARK WALKER OOZES TO MAR-A-LAGO TO BEG TRUMP FOR ENDORSEMENT: Former U.S. Rep. Mark Walker is currently at Mar-a-Lago with former President Donald Trump discussing Trump’s possible endorsement for a campaign to return to the House, said Jack Minor, Walker’s former chief of staff. Walker has spent nearly two years campaigning for an open U.S. Senate seat, after Sen. Richard Burr announced his retirement. But Trump endorsed Rep. Ted Budd for the seat, and Walker has trailed both Budd and former Gov. Pat McCrory in the polls. And some Budd supporters worry that if Walker stays in the race he could take votes from Budd, pushing McCrory ahead. Rumors of Walker’s switch to a congressional run surfaced shortly after the N.C. General Assembly approved a new congressional district map on Nov. 4. Because Walker knows he can't win except in a gerrymandered district. Loser.

REPUBLICAN OPERATIVES ARE BEGINNING TO WORRY ABOUT MARK ROBINSON: His comments threaten his ability to attract enough support from critical suburban voters, Republican political consultants say. And if the GOP keeps control of the legislature but loses the governor’s race in 2024, a Democratic governor could continue to thwart the Republican agenda with veto power. If Robinson does run and win, his rhetoric could hinder efforts to recruit businesses, observers say. “To win in North Carolina, the numbers show you cannot have an anti-LGBTQ platform,” said Lawrence Shaheen, a Charlotte-based attorney and Republican campaign consultant. A candidate can oppose what they view as explicit material in classrooms or the teaching of critical race theory, he said. “But you cannot run while slamming the LGBTQ community. There just isn’t a path to victory there. Period,” Shaheen said. Robinson’s anti-LGBTQ remarks pick at a scab that has lingered on the state for five years. North Carolina’s most recent Republican governor, Pat McCrory, lost his re-election bid in 2016 in part because he signed a law that limited which bathrooms transgender people could use. That law, known as HB2 for the state House bill number, was seen as discriminatory by a number of businesses. Yeah, I'm not so sure HB2 caused him to lose that race. Don't forget the Marriage Amendment that voters approved not so long ago. McCrory lost because he's an idiot, and because Roy Cooper is a smart and likeable dude.

ANOTHER SHOOTING AT A NC SHOPPING MALL: One person was transported to the hospital Saturday after being shot at a shopping center in Carrboro. The shooting occurred at Carrboro Plaza around 8 p.m. The person's injuries were not life-threatening, officials said. It is not clear at this time if there is anyone in custody, or what lead to the shooting. "We don’t believe there is an ongoing safety concern," according to a spokesperson with the Carrboro Police Department. What "led" to the shooting, for f**k's sake. Sorry, sorry. It just drives me crazy...

UNC IS LOSING FACULTY OF COLOR AT AN ALARMING RATE: “We’re hemorrhaging faculty of color,” Gibson said. “This institution — we are absolutely hemorrhaging them.” Deb Aikat, an associate professor at the Hussman School of Journalism and Media, said there is a sense among faculty of color that they do not move up to leadership positions. He said if one were to look at the deans and chairs across UNC, it is predominantly white men. In addition, he said faculty of color often feel as though they are not being recognized by the University. “Last year, we had several faculty who left and, truth be told, they have gotten better positions at other universities,” Aikat said. Many faculty of color have families or are starting families, so sometimes they have to uproot their lives to relocate after serving at UNC, he said. There is also the issue of salary inequities, where faculty of color — especially women — receive less pay and feel the need to get a job elsewhere, he said. “You are losing institutional memory,” he said. “You are losing an institutional richness.” To approach this issue, Aikat said the process needs to be fair. When looking at hiring new faculty members, he said there is an implicit bias where people of color do not get what they deserve. “For example, when Nikole Hannah-Jones was being hired, we could have done a lot better, don’t you agree?” Aikat said. “Why are we in the national headlines for all the wrong reasons?” That's a great question, and one that should be brought up with the Trustees. Over and over again.

BOB DOLE PASSES AWAY AT 98: Former U.S. senator Robert J. Dole, who overcame the hardships of dust bowl Kansas during the Depression and devastating injuries in World War II to run three times for the presidency and serve more than a decade as the Senate Republican leader, died Dec. 5 at 98. The Elizabeth Dole Foundation announced the death but did not provide an immediate cause. He announced in February that he had been diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. Mr. Dole’s life was a trajectory played out against nine decades of America’s political, economic and cultural transformations, from his birth in a one-bedroom house to a career that lasted more than a third of a century under the Capitol dome, where he was presented the Congressional Gold Medal in 2018. Mr. Dole was often critical of the Republican Party after leaving office, telling audiences that it had become too conservative, with far-right positions that recalled those of his former rival Patrick J. Buchanan. But he remained loyal to the party and, in 2016, became the only former GOP presidential candidate to endorse Donald Trump, whose campaign advisers included former Dole lieutenants such as Paul Manafort. Despite the harsh turn his party took under Trump, he said in an interview in July with USA Today that he regretted the former president’s loss in November but broke with him over claims of election fraud and was “sort of Trumped out.” We're all Trumped out, man. Rest in peace.



This GOP handwringing on Robinson is gaslighting

Over the past month or so, I'm seeing the NC GOP trying to use the press to get out a message that tries to paint this picture of "reasonable" Republicans privately anguishing over Robinson's remarks and the other "extremists" in the party.

I'm sorry - this is bullshit.

We all know that Robinson is saying exactly the same thing that proponents of Amendment 1 and HB2 were saying. The same NC GOP figures weren't only silent, but encouraged those measures to go forward.

The "tell" in that WRAL piece is trying to blame HB2 for Cooper's defeat. HB2 didn't hurt any of the NC GOP candidates in the down-ticket races.

The other "tell" is that the WRAL piece notes that white suburban voters are just fine with the NC GOP's fear-mongering about critical race theory. So, somehow, race baiting is normalized, while insulting LGBTQs is a "bridge too far".

If Robinson's comments were such a big liability, NC GOP figures would be coming out against it, rather than feeding all this "behind the scenes" chatter to WRAL and other reporters. (Even the usually observant IndyWeek fell for it a couple of weeks ago.)

It's a game of "good cop", "bad cop", with NC GOP leaders trying to distance themselves from the homophobia and treason in their party, while still tacitly supporting it by doing or saying nothing. And, at the same time, still embracing the core racism that's been a part of their DNA since Jesse Helms was using it to win elections when Dallas Woodhouse, Berger, and Moore were in knee pants.