Friday News: Merry-go-round

NC SUPREME COURT HALTS CANDIDATE FILING, POSTPONES PRIMARY: North Carolina’s 2022 primary election must be delayed — as gerrymandering lawsuits play out that could lead to redrawn districts — the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled Wednesday. It’s a win for the liberal voters and groups that have challenged the new political maps for those races as being unconstitutionally gerrymandered, and a loss for the Republican lawmakers who drew the maps. All primaries, not just the ones using disputed maps for U.S. House and the state House and Senate, are being delayed to May 17 from March 8. The maps in question would give the GOP a sizable advantage in future elections, likely helping Republicans win a majority of seats even if Democrats win a majority of the statewide vote, according to several outside analyses. And they will be used in every election for the next decade — unless a court forces them to be redrawn, which Democrats are rooting for. You misspelled "screaming" for. Also, let me apologize for the untimely coverage of this issue. Posting the day before (of course) opens up the possibility of incorrect/moribund news, but I don't have the luxury of "revising" stories as the day progresses like I used to.

MARK MEADOWS FILES A LAWSUIT AGAINST CONGRESS, BECAUSE OF COURSE HE DOES: Former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Wednesday sued the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection as the chairman of the panel pledged to move forward with contempt charges against him for defying a subpoena. The dueling actions laid bare simmering tensions between the committee and Meadows, seen by lawmakers on the panel as a pivotal player in their investigation, and reflected a remarkable turnabout from last week, when Meadows' lawyer had declared his intention of cooperating with the committee on certain areas of their inquiry. Meadows' lawsuit, filed in federal court in Washington, asks a judge to invalidate two subpoenas that he says are “overly broad and unduly burdensome." It accuses the committee of overreaching by issuing a subpoena to Verizon for his cell phone records. They just want to know who you talked to. You know, like maybe one (or some) of the jackasses who attacked the Capitol Building? You know, the place where you used to work? Idiot.

UNC TO LAUNCH MASSIVE ADULT CONTINUING EDUCATION PROJECT: Project Kitty Hawk is named after the North Carolina beach town the Wright brothers returned to repeatedly before achieving their dream of flight, an apt metaphor for an undertaking that UNC leaders herald as a transformative effort to reach the state’s estimated one million working adults who have some college education but no degree. Sweeping in its ambition, Project Kitty Hawk’s five-year financial plan projects 120 new online program launches and 24,000 net new enrollments across the system’s 16 university campuses by the 2026–27 academic year, according to working papers project leaders shared with Inside Higher Ed. Half of the state’s workers are eligible for employer education benefits, which UNC system leaders hope to capture by doing a better job of keeping adult learners in the state. As of fall 2019, Liberty and Strayer Universities topped the list of most popular online offerings sought by North Carolina students, more than 60,000 of whom are enrolled in what the working papers called “high-cost, out-of-state programs.” UNC leaders say they want to draw those students into the state system, but in order to succeed, they must better tailor online services and infrastructure to working adults. The working papers depict a system with a uniquely ambitious vision for Kitty Hawk, which they say will provide “end-to-end support to help universities rapidly design and take workforce-aligned programs online as well as attract, enroll and support learners through graduation.” Kitty Hawk will rely on “a central technology and service infrastructure” to help UNC campuses reach working adults, in part, the working papers say, because it will be “less expensive than the traditional approach of more buildings, more personnel, and more programs … or [campuses] doing it themselves.” May have to check this thing out myself...

THERE ARE WAY TOO MANY GUNS MAKING THEIR WAY INTO OUR SCHOOLS: A student was found with a gun at North Mecklenburg High School in Huntersville Thursday morning, WCNC reports. Administrators said there were no threats made against the school and all students and staff were safe. This is the nineteenth gun discovered on a Charlotte-Mecklenburg School campus this school year — one found just last week. Another gun was found on a student at Harding University High School after a fight on Nov. 30, WCNC reports. In an effort to make the district safer, CMS Superintendent Earnest Winston said the district will be giving every student a clear backpack sometime after February. "We are all concerned for the safety of our students and staff," Winston said. "Addressing this crisis is a top priority, and we will communicate more actions as our team takes an all-hands-on-deck approach to new school safety measures and preventing further violence." The gun found in Charlotte on Thursday is the fifth gun seized at a North Carolina school this week. On Wednesday, one weapon was found at Cary High School and another at high school in Alamance County. And I did not even know about the one in Alamance County, and it was at the high school I graduated from. Sheesh.

TRUMP'S NEW YORK LEGAL WOES ARE NOT OVER: New York Attorney General Letitia James is seeking a deposition from former president Donald Trump early next year as part of her investigation into potential fraud inside the Trump Organization, according to people familiar with the matter. James has requested to take his testimony on Jan. 7 at her New York office as part of a civil investigation into whether Trump’s company committed financial fraud in the valuations of properties to different entities, according to the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the inquiry is ongoing. One of the people familiar with the investigation said James is examining whether widespread fraud “permeated the Trump Organization.” In a statement, the Trump Organization decried the move as politically motivated. The deposition marks an escalation in the probe of the former president’s company and a critical moment for James. While the attorney general had declared a run for governor, she said on Thursday that she’s suspending her campaign. Both the attorney general and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office are scrutinizing whether Trump’s company broke the law by providing low values to property tax officers, while using high ones to garner tax breaks or impress lenders, as The Washington Post previously reported. Lock his ass up, please.