Wednesday News: Um, state's rights?


NC'S REPUBLICAN LEGISLATORS PONDER U.S. EXTREME SUPREME COURT: North Carolina lawmakers will start redrawing new political maps quickly, possibly even this week. But at the same time, they’re contemplating appealing their loss in a nationally watched gerrymandering at the state Supreme Court to the only court that could overturn the ruling — the U.S. Supreme Court. The court found that the maps were unconstitutional because of the way the lines minimized the influence of Democratic voters, notably by guaranteeing Republicans would likely still win large majorities even if most voters voted for Democrats. But as of Monday afternoon there was still no detailed opinion with guidance on how better maps should be drawn. It complicates matters that the court hasn’t given exact details on their ruling to help determine what a fair map is, Moore said, but he and other legislative leaders are hoping for those details soon. Maybe maps that aren't 1000:1 outliers?

LOOKS LIKE MADDIE ISN'T SLITHERING AWAY FROM ELIGIBILITY CHALLENGE: A formal effort to evaluate whether North Carolina Rep. Madison Cawthorn should be disqualified as a candidate because of his involvement in the January 2021 rally that preceded the U.S. Capitol riot should be allowed to continue, voters and election officials told a federal judge. Nearly a dozen North Carolina voters had filed a candidate challenge last month against the first-term Republican. On Monday, attorneys for the voters and the State Board of Elections turned in court filings arguing that Cawthorn's motion to cancel the challenge process be rejected. The candidate challenge says Cawthorn fails to comply with the portion of a post-Civil War amendment to the Constitution pertaining to insurrections. Cawthorn’s speech at the rally supporting then-President Donald Trump, his other comments and information in published reports provide a “reasonable suspicion or belief” that he helped facilitate the insurrection, the challenge reads. This case is (much) more important than just one Congressional District. Several elected officials have recklessly endangered our democracy with their actions and rhetoric, and there must be consequences. Before they get really crazy.

SPEAKING OF THE NEED FOR CONSEQUENCES: A flight from North Carolina to Los Angeles was diverted to New Mexico overnight after a passenger made a "threatening statement" to a crew member, a spokesperson for American Airlines said. "American Airlines flight 482 from Charlotte (CLT) to Los Angeles (LAX) diverted to Albuquerque (ABQ) following a passenger disruption in which a threatening statement was made toward a crew member," airline spokesperson Curtis Blessing said in a statement emailed to CNN. "The aircraft was met by local law enforcement after landing safely at ABQ at 10:25 p.m. local time. The passengers involved were deplaned, and the flight later re-departed for LAX," the statement said. "We thank our crew for their professionalism and apologize to our customers for any inconvenience this caused to their travel plans." So far this year, 323 unruly passenger incidents had been reported to the Federal Aviation Administration as of February 1. There were 5,981 incidents reported last year. That's more than ten per day so far in 2022, inexcusable.

FLORIDA IS TURNING INTO A FULL-ON FASCIST STATE: The White House on Tuesday slammed Florida Republicans over a proposal to ban discussions of sexual orientation or gender identity in the state's schools. A White House spokesperson weighed in on the legislation, dubbed by activists as the “Don't Say Gay” bill, shortly after a GOP-controlled committee approved the measure. “Every parent hopes that our leaders will ensure their children’s safety, protection, and freedom. Today, conservative politicians in Florida rejected those basic values by advancing legislation that is designed to target and attack the kids who need support the most – LGBTQI+ students, who are already vulnerable to bullying and violence just for being themselves," the White House statement read. The bill states that "a school district may not encourage classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grade levels or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students." Parents could sue a school district for violations. The measure, which has also been introduced in the state House of Representatives, has drawn widespread condemnation from activist groups who argue it would marginalize LGBTQ children and families and stifle discussions about LGBTQ history. Both bills are still in the committee phase. Encouraging parents to sue school districts is some next-level bullshit.

BIDEN'S TOP SCIENCE ADVISOR RESIGNS UNDER DARK CLOUD OF ABUSIVE BEHAVIOR: When President Biden tapped Eric Lander as White House science adviser in January 2021, he tasked the renowned genomics researcher with “reinvigorating” American science. Following Lander’s stunning resignation on Monday evening, however, the question is no longer whether he’ll reinvigorate the U.S. scientific enterprise. It’s whether he’s derailed it. In a resignation letter, Lander apologized to White House science staff for the workplace-abuse scandal that caused his downfall, admitting he “caused hurt to past and present colleagues for the way in which I have spoken to them.” In interviews with STAT, researchers and White House aides were split as to how Lander’s ouster will impact the Biden administration’s scientific work. Some argued the work will continue unabated regardless of Lander’s departure in the administration. The Cancer Moonshot in particular is largely isolated from Lander, multiple aides argued. Its director, Danielle Carnival, is a longtime Biden aide thought to have the ear of the president, and Lander’s resignation could only serve to empower her more. Plus, as currently structured, Biden’s latest effort does not require support from Congress — and some funding from the original moonshot in 2016 remains available as well. Being brilliant does not excuse assholish behavior, especially in a field that thrives on collaboration. Write that down.



If the NCGOP thinks...

that this time the SCOTUS will insert itself into the very same kind of state constitutional question on gerrymandering that even most of the conservative justices refused to hear in the past, then they're even more delusional than usual. Last time it was Alito that refused to even issue an injunction and he's not one to change his mind about things like that. If they've lost Alito already, then they've lost Roberts too and there goes the whole ball game. SCOTUS is not going to bail them out and they can either draw fair maps or let the courts do it for them. One way or another, they're stuck with this ruling.
By the way, it's interesting that back when this happened, we heard exactly the same arguments and complaints from the PAGOP as we're hearing now from their NC counterparts.

Cawthorn promotes more violence if he isn't allowed to run

Madison Cawthorn appeared on Steve Bannon's podcast, saying that challenging his run for office will just "lead to one place".

I hope the court is paying attention to a guy who is being prevented from running for his involvement in a violent insurrection and is promising more of the same if he is taken out of the race.

Also on the podcast, Cawthorn minimized his involvement in 1/6, basically saying he didn't yell "fire" in a crowded theater.

He's too stupid to know

when to bark and when to STFU. They should definitely play that recording during his hearing, see what the judge thinks about it.