Wednesday News: Chip off the old blockhead

DAN BISHOP'S SON IS STIRRING UP TROUBLE AT NC STATE: Jack Bishop, a 19-year-old freshman and the son of recently elected Republican Congressman Dan Bishop, said he was painting an advertisement for a Wednesday night campus event called “Culture War” when other students interrupted his efforts. The event is hosted by N.C. State’s chapter of Turning Point USA, a conservative student movement, and is billed as an opportunity to hear guest speaker Charlie Kirk and Lara Trump, President Trump’s daughter-in-law, “take on big government, culture and the left.” At one point in the video, Bishop says of the paint, “it smells great,” then leans toward the canister that’s being sprayed around him. Bishop continues to stand talking to the other student, saying “that’s about right ... spray painting me in the face” before the video cuts off.

ACLU FILES SUIT FOR ALAMANCE COUNTY JAIL INMATES OVER CASH BAIL: A group of North Carolina jail inmates filed a lawsuit Tuesday challenging a county's cash bail requirements, saying the system unfairly jails the poor while letting people with money go home. The American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit in federal court on behalf of three Alamance County jail inmates who say they can't afford cash bail amounts of more than $1,000. Two of the inmates are only facing misdemeanor charges. The ACLU is seeking class-action status. ACLU lawyers argue the county violates the inmates' constitutional rights because they are presumed innocent while awaiting trial, yet remain confined because they can't afford bail. "A person's freedom should never depend on how much money they have," ACLU attorney Leah Kang said in a news release. "But right now in Alamance County, people who are presumed innocent are sitting in jail for one simple reason: because they do not have enough money to pay the bail that would allow them to go home to their jobs and families while they wait for their day in court."

NEW CONGRESSIONAL MAPS MAY BE SETTLED BY FRIDAY: Republican and Democratic lawmakers in North Carolina have drawn up multiple proposed maps for the state’s 2020 congressional elections and are asking for the public’s input before the legislature votes on what to put in place. People can submit written comments and for days, dozens have. Wednesday at 10 a.m., the legislature will also have a public hearing at the Legislative Office Building for people who want to speak up, now that all the maps are available for the public to look at. If the committees don’t seek to make major edits after the public hearing, however, it’s possible a new map could be approved by the legislature this week, with votes in committee on Wednesday and then votes by the full House and Senate on Thursday and Friday. And whatever the legislature passes would be law, since the governor is not allowed to veto redistricting bills.

SCAM PRESIDENT HIRES SCAM STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: “Here you are on Time magazine, congratulations,” the host, Mary Sit, said to Chang. “Tell me about this cover and how this came to be.” Chang explained that her organization used “drone technology in disaster response.” “I suppose I brought some attention to that,” she said. What she did not say, however, is that the cover was fake. The fabricated Time cover is just one of Chang’s listed accomplishments and résumé line items that has come into question after an NBC News investigation found that the 35-year-old Trump appointee embellished her work history and made misleading claims about her professional background. It has been a persistent problem for President Trump’s administration: an apparent failure to recognize red flags when vetting potential hires and appointees. Officials at the White House and the State Department did not respond to requests for comment, or to questions about Chang’s purported qualifications. The agency also did not make Chang available for comment or an interview. It is unclear whether Chang has the top-secret security clearance typical for an official of her level.

FORMAL IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS BEGIN TODAY IN U.S. HOUSE: In the House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday, Mr. Taylor and Mr. Kent are expected to deliver opening statements and then face 45-minute rounds of questioning by Democrats and Republicans, who will probably hand over at least some of their time to the staff investigators who have been leading the closed-door interviews. Then lawmakers will have a sort of lightning round of questions, alternating between Democrats and Republicans in five-minute increments. And they could return to the more extended questioning afterward. The public hearings could continue for two or three more weeks, possibly to be followed by additional public hearings in front of the Judiciary Committee, the site of the show that transfixed the nation decades ago during the impeachment hearings into Presidents Richard M. Nixon and Bill Clinton. If that schedule holds, the final vote in the Senate on Mr. Trump’s fate could come near the end of January or the beginning of February, just as the first votes are cast in the Democratic presidential primary contests in Iowa and New Hampshire.



I spoke to the Alamance District Attorney

at a candidates' forum back in October, about this very subject. He's a lot better than our previous DA, but that's quite a low bar to hit. We talked about various alternatives to cash bail, and I laid on the guilt trip pretty hard. Like the fact that even if the charges are dropped or the defendant is found "not guilty," they don't get that 10% back from the bail bondsman. That one got his attention, and he got quiet for a moment in thought. I don't know if it did any good, but I had to try.