Thursday News: Take a chill pill


NC REPUBLICANS WHINE ABOUT VOTE COUNT PROCESS: The North Carolina Republican Party and Republican members of the legislature are calling on the State Board of Elections to release voter history data for a different reason. They want data released so that national news outlets will call the state’s presidential results for Donald Trump, according to a press release the party issued on Monday. As of Wednesday morning, North Carolina and Georgia were the only states The Associated Press hadn’t called in the race for the White House. Still, Sen. Paul Newton, R-Cabarrus, a Senate Elections committee co-chair, said he wants to change the election system so that major news organizations can call North Carolina’s race for president on election night. “We ought to, going forward, be able to declare a victor on election night in North Carolina,” Newton said. “We cannot tolerate what’s going on right now.”

FRANKLIN GRAHAM'S NEPHEW CALLS HIM OUT FOR LYING ABOUT BILLY GRAHAM VOTING FOR TRUMP: For the Rev. Franklin Graham, the scathing editorial in Christianity Today last year calling his friend Donald Trump “a leader of grossly immoral character” and urging that Trump be “removed from office” was heretical. To Graham, it was bad enough to read such an attack on Trump. But the insult was compounded by the fact that Christianity Today had been founded by his recently deceased father, Billy Graham, the revered evangelist often called America’s Pastor. So Franklin fired back at the magazine with a powerful riposte to his millions of social-media followers: "I hadn’t shared who my father @BillyGraham voted for in 2016 but because of @CTMagazine’s article, I felt it necessary to share now. My father knew (Trump), believed in him (and) voted for him." That was too much for another Billy Graham descendant, his grandson, Aram Tchividjian. "I’ll never forget that day in 2016 when my grandfather @BillyGraham, shrugged off the symptoms of Parkinson’s and hydrocephalus, got up out of bed for the first time in a year, drove down to the polling station, and cast his vote. What a glorious memory!" Tchividjian and his more outspoken sister, Jerushah Duford, whose mother, Gigi Graham Tchividijian, is Billy Graham’s oldest daughter, have emerged as the family’s most visible critics of their uncle and of Trump.

BIG SURPRISE, NEW REPUBLICAN COMMISSIONER IN ALAMANCE DOESN'T THINK RACISM IS A PROBLEM: This comes as a number of communities throughout the state have responded to the summer of protests, brought on by the extrajudicial killing of George Floyd, by formally condemning systemic racism. “I don’t think that is something we necessarily need to do in our area,” said incoming Alamance Commissioner John Paisley, adding that the primary focus of local officials should be to bring people together after weeks of division. Paisley said he doesn’t believe ordinances focusing on racism would accomplish that. “First of all, I think all sides after this election need to calm down,” Paisley said. “It’s been relatively calm, since the 60s. And I don’t think we have a major racism problem in this county.” “But I think, particularly with outside agitation that took place prior to the election, things were stirred up tremendously mostly from outside sources,” Paisley said. “I think that’s regrettable. I think now that the election is over, outside interference will calm down or maybe even stay away. Who knows?” Paisley went on to reiterate his belief that the Alamance community didn’t need a formal resolution condemning matters of race. Commissioners in other parts of the state disagreed. Editor's note: To be clear, the vast majority of people who have protested in Graham have been Alamance County residents. After the pepper-spraying incident, some 1,000 folks, many from Greensboro and beyond, gathered to protest that event. But this "outside agitator" thing is bullshit.

TRUMP IS FURIOUS AT PFIZER OVER POST-ELECTION VACCINE ANNOUNCEMENT, CITES "MEDICAL DEEP STATE"?: President Trump is lashing out at the Food and Drug Administration following a disclosure Monday that an experimental coronavirus vaccine from pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is more than 90 percent effective, convinced the timing — six days after Election Day — proves the “medical deep state” deliberately tried to sabotage his electoral prospects by delaying the results. Shortly after Trump heard the news Monday, he demanded Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar “get to the bottom” of what happened with Pfizer, according to a senior White House official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the president’s actions. A few hours later, the issue was front and center at a meeting of the White House coronavirus task force when FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn briefed members about the vaccine data. “As I have long said, @Pfizer and the others would only announce a Vaccine after the Election, because they didn’t have the courage to do it before. Likewise, the @US_FDA should have announced it earlier, not for political purposes, but for saving lives!” Trump wrote. “The @US_FDA and the Democrats didn’t want to have me get a Vaccine WIN, prior to the election, so instead it came out five days later — As I’ve said all along!” Trump’s anger at the FDA raises fresh questions about whether Hahn will hang on to his job until Jan. 20 — when Trump leaves office — in an administration intent on purging officials deemed insufficiently loyal. Trump called Hahn shortly before he tweeted Monday and was “screaming at him” about the Pfizer announcement, in the words of one senior administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe sensitive matters. The accusations against the FDA may further fuel baseless conspiracy theories that the election was stolen from Trump. Editor's note: Pfizer did not receive a penny of support from the White House, was not part of the "Warp Speed" project. But that didn't stop one of Trump's idiot sons from trying to take credit.

CONSERVATIVE SNOWFLAKES FLEE FACEBOOK AND TWITTER, BRING THEIR LIES AND CONSPIRACY THEORIES TO PARLER AND NEWSMAX: As the companies have clamped down on misinformation, they have clashed with Republicans and conservatives who have spread lies about the election’s outcome, leading to claims that the tech platforms are censoring them. Among those who have spoken out are Mark Levin, a far-right radio host with millions of listeners, who vented on his show last week that the tech and media companies were not representing the conservative point of view. Maria Bartiromo, a Fox Business anchor, also expressed frustration with Twitter and said it was blocking conservatives’ statements. But Mr. Levin, Ms. Bartiromo and others did not stop there. They directed their followers to other social media apps and news sites that have positioned themselves as alternatives to Facebook and Twitter. The beneficiaries are Parler, a Twitter-like app that describes itself as the world’s “premier free speech social network,” the right-wing media app Newsmax, and other social sites like MeWe and Rumble, which have purposely welcomed conservatives. Over the weekend, Parler shot to the top of Apple’s App Store in downloads. As of Monday, it had eight million members, nearly double the 4.5 million it had last week. “There are real dangers around a fractured misinformation system, especially as it relates to organizing against our electoral integrity,” said Shannon McGregor, a professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and senior researcher at the Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life. But Ms. McGregor said she was skeptical that any migration would lead to permanent departures from Facebook and Twitter. “If there is no one to argue with, no omnipresent journalists or media entities to react to, how long will it last?” she said.