MARK ROBINSON RILES UP 1,000 CHRISTO-FASCISTS IN FRONT OF LEGISLATURE: In a fiery speech Friday, Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson said he would not resign after making derogatory comments about the LGBTQ community weeks ago, just days after he indicated he might run for governor. Robinson spoke to a crowd of well over 1,000 people on Halifax Mall, just steps from the state legislative building, as part of a “Stand up for America” rally organized by Return America. The North Carolina-based group, according to its website, says its mission is to: “build a network of churches and individuals to educate, motivate and mobilize citizens in a united effort in promoting Judeo-Christian values; to educate and influence government in these principles upon which our state and nation were founded.” Apparently they forgot about all the anti-Semitic comments Robinson has made. Or they didn't forget...
SCSJ FILES LAWSUIT OVER GERRYMANDERING APPROACH: State lawmakers haven’t even voted on new voting maps yet, but they’re already being sued over them. The Southern Coalition for Social Justice filed suit Friday afternoon in Wake Co. Superior Court on behalf of the state NAACP, the voting-rights group Common Cause, and four individual voters. The suit asks the judge to block the implementation of maps lawmakers will consider next week for failing to consider race, saying several of the proposed maps would have result in reduced minority representation in Congress and the state legislature. According to SCSJ attorney Allison Riggs, North Carolina law requires districts to comply with the federal Voting Rights Act, which requires lawmakers to assess racially polarized in districts before they redraw them. “They simply can’t do that without considering race,” she said in a press release. “Lawmakers’ supposed ‘race-blind’ redistricting process is rigged to reduce the strength of our votes, silence our voices, and negate decades of struggle and sacrifice for fairer maps,” said NC NAACP President Deborah Dicks Maxwell. “You can’t represent all of North Carolina if you claim not to see us.” You have to look at race to a certain extent, so you don't inadvertently (or advertently) crack black population concentrations into powerless voids.
WITH INFRASTRUCTURE AND SAFETY NET BILLS IN LIMBO, BIDEN HEADS TO CLIMATE TALKS: After a fitful day of talks over the fate of twin infrastructure and social spending bills that he cast as a choice between “leading the world, or letting the world pass us by," Biden landed in Rome aboard Air Force One in the dark early Friday with the answer still undetermined. Headed first to a Group of 20 summit in Rome and then to Glasgow, Scotland, for a U.N. climate summit, Biden will be pressed to deliver concrete ideas for stopping a global pandemic, boosting economic growth and halting the acceleration of climate change. Those stakes might seem a bit high for a pair of two-day gatherings attended by the global elite and their entourages. But it's written right into the slogan for the meeting in Rome: “People, Planet, Prosperity.” It was a reflection of his promise to align U.S. diplomacy with the interests of the middle class. This has tied any success abroad to his efforts to get Congress to advance his environmental, tax, infrastructure and social policies. It could be harder to get the world to commit to his stated goals if Americans refuse to fully embrace them, one of the risks of Biden’s choice to knit together his domestic and foreign policies. Before leaving Washington, Biden pitched House Democrats to get behind a scaled-back $1.75 trillion “framework” that he believes could pass the 50-50 Senate. It remained to be seen whether lawmakers would embrace the package or send Biden back to the negotiating table, as some key priorities like paid family leave and steps to lower prescription drug costs were excised from the bill, which will be paid for with hiked taxes on the nation's wealthiest and corporations.
UNCLE JOE (KIND OF) APOLOGIZES TO MACRON OVER SUBMARINE KERFUFFLE: US President Joe Biden, meeting his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron in Rome, has acknowledged the United States had been “clumsy” in cutting France out of a deal to sell Australia nuclear-powered submarines earlier this year. It was the first meeting of the US and French leaders as they sought to mend relations following a diplomatic row over the US, UK and Australia security pact reached in September. Macron spoke first in French as Biden listened, saying the meeting was “important” and that it was key to “look to the future” as the two countries face new challenges. The two shook hands at the conclusion of Macron’s remarks. The meeting was held at the Villa Bonaparte, the French embassy to the Vatican in the heart of Rome, and comes before the Group of 20 (G20) summit of leaders of the largest economies. Biden had met Pope Francis earlier in the day. “We clarified together what we had to clarify,” Macron added when asked by media if US-French relations had been repaired. “What really matters now is what we will do together in the coming weeks, the coming months, the coming years,” he said. Macron thanked Biden for “very operational, very concrete decisions” in recent weeks to help the French military in the Sahel region of Africa. France has about 5,100 soldiers based in Chad and Mali that are conducting coalition military operations against the groups linked to al-Qaeda and ISIL (ISIS) in the Sahel.
THIS DUDE NEEDS TO BE PUT ON THE NO-FLY LIST, PRONTO: A flight attendant for American Airlines suffered broken bones in her face and had to be hospitalized after a passenger allegedly attacked her Wednesday in an incident the company’s chief executive called “one of the worst displays of unruly behavior we’ve ever witnessed.” The incident occurred on a flight from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport to John Wayne Airport in Orange County, Calif. It prompted the pilots to divert the flight to Denver, where the passenger was temporarily detained. The flight attendant apparently bumped the passenger while moving through the first-class cabin, according to Julie Hedrick, president of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, which represents those who fly for American Airlines. The flight attendant apologized, but the passenger left his seat, confronted her as she stood in the aircraft’s galley, then punched her in the face, Hedrick said. Hedrick said the flight attendant was taken to a hospital for treatment of broken bones in her face. She was later released. Hedrick said there is no indication that the incident on Wednesday involved a dispute over masks. She said it also is not clear whether alcohol may have been a factor. American is among several carriers that have limited alcohol sales on domestic flights. The carrier does offer alcohol in its first-class cabins. Entitled prick.