Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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ON MEDICAID EXPANSION, LET OUR ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES VOTE: In the North Carolina House of Representatives it takes 61 votes to pass a state budget bill – assuming all 120 members are present and voting. It takes the same number of votes to amend such a bill, say to add an item, delete an item or to increase or decrease the amount of spending on any provision. There is nothing in the law or rules of the House that say it requires a certain number of Democrats or Republicans to make up those 61 votes. That may be somewhat of a surprise to House Speaker Tim Moore, who says he won’t allow a vote on getting Medicaid expansion. Moore says his Republican Party caucus won’t support expansion. In a Tweet last week, Gov. Roy Cooper termed Moore’s reasoning a bit differently. “The speaker could not get enough Republican House members to support it,” Cooper said. Now, there are 69 Republicans and 51 Democrats in the state House. Does anyone, right now, know just how many of those Republicans and Democrats are supporting Medicaid Expansion? Let’s do something that is supposed to happen in a REAL democracy. How about letting the people North Carolinians elected to represent them stand up and be counted. Let them vote on Medicaid expansion. Reading the bitter tea leaves of our Orwellian GOP leaders leads me to one conclusion: there actually *are* enough Republican votes to reach that 61 vote margin, which is why Moore doesn't want them to vote on Medicaid expansion. That is not democracy, it's oligarchy; being governed by a handful of elites. Calling it anything else is merely lipstick on a pig.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-on-medicaid-expansion-let-legislators-vote/19983779/

Saturday News: Götterdämmerung

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MADISON CAWTHORN HAS A HARD-ON FOR KYLE RITTENHOUSE: Rittenhouse faced charges for shooting three people during turbulent protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last year, killing two and wounding the other. A jury found Rittenhouse not guilty on all charges on Friday. On Instagram, Cawthorn said in a video: “Kyle Rittenhouse is not guilty, my friends. You have a right to defend yourselves. Be armed, be dangerous and be moral.” In a text box, Cawthorn told Rittenhouse to reach out if he wanted an internship. Cawthorn, 26, drew a passionate mix of reactions last week when he announced he would run in North Carolina’s new 13th District. I won't link to it, but Dallas Woodhouse cut loose on Cawthorn in a Carolina Journal oped a few days ago. Not that I expect them to, but rank-and-file Republicans need to reject this idiot's philosophy, before the bodies start piling up.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article255964907.html

Friday News: Iconic

GK BUTTERFIELD ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT AFTER GOP NIXES MAJORITY-MINORITY DISTRICT: U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield announced Thursday he will retire from Congress, accusing the North Carolina General Assembly of racially gerrymandering new political maps that leave him in a less favorable district. Butterfield, a 74-year-old Democrat from Wilson who has served in Congress since 2004, is a civil rights advocate and former judge. He currently serves in North Carolina’s 1st Congressional District, which stretches through Eastern North Carolina. “The map that was recently enacted by the legislature is a partisan map,” Butterfield said in a video announcing his retirement. “It is racially gerrymandered. It will disadvantage African American communities all across the 1st Congressional District." If they are allowed to do this, Congress will see a whitewashing that hasn't happened for over half a century.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/election/article255896141.html

Online platforms must be able to police hate speech

Dear editor:
We now know that the insurrection of January 6, 2021 was organized largely online, with loose networks of Trump-inspired radicals hatching a plan to infiltrate the Capitol and harm our representatives, including the Vice President. Yet nearly a year after that incident, Congress still hasn’t figured out how to handle dangerous, conspiratorial speech online.

Thursday News: It's worse than you think

NEW GERRYMANDERING LAWSUIT EXPOSES REPUBLICAN CHEATING: The lawsuit claims that even if Democratic candidates were to win the statewide vote by a significant margin, it still wouldn’t be enough to take control of the legislature. “Indeed, it would likely take a statewide win by at least seven points for the minority party to have a chance to elect a majority of the seats in any of those chambers — something that never happens in a state as 50-50 as North Carolina,” a press release announcing the lawsuit said. Republicans could expect to win 60% of the legislative races — enough for a veto-proof supermajority — with just 50% of the statewide vote, one of the filings in the lawsuit claims. If they win, the challengers say the legislature should be forced to redraw new, fairer maps — and that if they don’t, then a court should replace the current maps with the ones the challengers drew. Looks like it's Special Master time again...
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article255890486.html

Wednesday News: Leadership

GOVERNOR COOPER SET TO SIGN BUDGET INTO LAW: “I will sign this budget, because on balance the good outweighs the bad,” Cooper said, adding that it moves North Carolina forward in important ways, “many that are critical to our state’s progress as we are emerging from this pandemic.” “While I believe that it is a budget of some missed opportunities and misguided policy, it is also a budget that we desperately need at this unique time in the history of our state,” Cooper said. Cooper cites raises for state employees and tax relief for “everyday North Carolinians” among the reasons for supporting it. He added the caveat that he is “clear-eyed there are ways we differ,” including that the budget does not include Medicaid expansion. It also has an ugly poison pill, taking away some of his emergency powers. But like any good leader, he puts the needs of others over his own.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article255861576.html

Tuesday Twitter roundup

This is needed very much. The rich county vs. poor county issue has gotten worse every year.

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