Thursday News: Oxygen thieves


BERGERMOORE DODGE QUESTIONS ABOUT UNC CHANCELLOR REPLACEMENT: “I have questions about the many decisions that have been made at the Chapel Hill campus. It is something that is up to someone else to make decisions as to what needs to be done about that,” Berger said. Asked again if he had confidence, Berger said: “I am not charged with the responsibility of the day to day management of any individual campus in the system, so whether I have confidence or not really has very little to do with the whole situation,” he said. Later that day, asked if Guskiewicz should stay at UNC, Moore repeated that he likes him, but stopped short of saying yes or no. Um, no. It wasn't Guskiewicz who gave confederate fetishists $2.5 million dollars to squirrel away Silent Sam, it was Republicans appointed by BergerMoore. Look in a mirror.

REPUBLICANS PULL A MIDNIGHT SPECIAL TO PASS DUKE ENERGY BILL: North Carolina lawmakers held a midnight session to pass a complex bill that would lay out a decade or more of energy policy. The bill, a major priority for regulated monopoly Duke Energy, passed 59-47 after the House gave the measure preliminary approval Wednesday night on a 57-50 vote. House rules require two votes to move the bill on to the state Senate, and because Democrats objected to holding the votes one after another, the House's Republican leadership opted to satisfy the next-day requirement that objection triggered at 12:01 a.m. There was no additional debate in the early Thursday session. The bill picked up a couple of yes votes, but some members had to change their votes from yes to no after the vote was taken, having mistakenly voted yes. Late-night sessions are unusual, but not unheard of, particularly on controversial issues. House Speaker Tim Moore said some lawmakers who voted yes Wednesday night have travel plans Thursday and wouldn't be available for a daylight session.

PHIL BERGER DOES NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT CRITICAL RACE THEORY IS: The latest version of the North Carolina bill would prevent teachers from compelling students to personally adopt any ideas from a list of 13 beliefs, even though they cannot identify a single case of this happening inside the state’s classrooms, which serve about 1.5 million K-12 public school students. "We don't want to indoctrinate folks in what I think is the core of critical race theory, which is that race is determinative of whether or not someone is going to be successful, that race is determinative of all matter of things that happen in society and that past discrimination justifies current discrimination," Berger told The Associated Press in an interview before unveiling the updated education measure. Architects of the theory accuse Republicans of hijacking a national conversation on race and inaccurately representing their ideas. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper will likely veto the bill, and Republicans would almost assuredly lack the votes needed for an override.

REPUBLICANS ARE PUSHING BACK ON VACCINES WITH ALL THEIR MIGHT: On July Fourth, President Biden celebrated dramatic progress in the war on the coronavirus, with more than 150 million adults fully vaccinated and infections plunging 93 percent since Inauguration Day. “Together, we’re beating the virus,” Biden said at a party on the White House lawn. But at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference, attendees celebrated a different — essentially opposite — milestone: that Biden had missed his goal of vaccinating 70 percent of adults. “Clearly they were hoping — the government was hoping — that they could sort of sucker 90 percent of the population into getting vaccinated,” activist Alex Berenson told the crowd Saturday, seeming to inflate Biden’s target. “And it isn’t happening.” The crowd clapped and cheered at that failure. What began as “vaccine hesitancy” has morphed into outright vaccine hostility, as conservatives increasingly attack the White House’s coronavirus message, mischaracterize its vaccination campaign and, more and more, vow to skip the shots altogether. I don't sling Darwin's name around lightly, but yeah. He talked about this.

CHIP SHORTAGE IS DRIVING THE AUTOMOBILE MARKET (EVEN USED ONES) INSANE: In showrooms across the country, Americans are buying most makes and models almost as fast as they can be made or resold. The frenzy for new and used vehicles is being fed by two related forces: Automakers are struggling to increase production because of a shortage of computer chips caused in large part by the pandemic. And a strong economic recovery, low interest rates, high savings and government stimulus payments have boosted demand. The combination has left dealers and individuals struggling to get their hands on vehicles. Some dealers are calling and emailing former customers offering to buy back cars they sold a year or two earlier because demand for used vehicles is as strong as it is for new cars, if not stronger. Used car prices are up about 45 percent over the past year, according to government data published this week. New car and truck prices are up about 5 percent over the past year. To make the most of limited chip supplies, General Motors has temporarily done away with certain features in some models, like stop-start systems that automatically turn off engines when cars stop for, say, a traffic light. And the French carmaker Peugeot has replaced digital speedometers with analog ones in some cars. Rental car companies that sold off thousands of cars during the pandemic to survive are now in the market to buy cars and trucks. They want to take advantage of a summer travel boom that has driven up rental rates to several hundred dollars a day in some places.