Students come together to oppose gun violence

When the most responsible adults in the room are also the youngest:

“The sad and terrifying reality is that another school shooting like Parkland will happen if we don’t take action now," said Sawyer Taylor-Arnold. “I hope that one day students won’t have to fear going to school because of gun violence. I hope that school becomes once again a place for education and promise instead of a terrifying gamble of safety. I hope that students in the future won’t know the pain and trauma that accompanies gun violence because we will have the regulation our country desperately needs.”

Taylor-Arnold is a junior at Asheville High School. She said she wanted to attend the Summit to learn more about gun violence and hear first-hand accounts of how it affected so many young people.

I am proud of these students, but also kind of angry. I'm angry that our lack of action on this issue made them feel the need to push for change. Angry that nothing of any substance has been done to limit the insanely easy access to deadly firearms, and that every (single) common-sense approach is viciously opposed by gun fetishists and the businesses that profit from them. Here are some of their ideas:

Wednesday News: Welcome to Absurdistan

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DAN FOREST MAKES A "HOW TO" VIDEO ON VOTER FRAUD: Forest, a Republican, is not up for election this fall – his second term runs through 2020. However, he has been a strong proponent of requiring voters to show a photo identification at the polls, and a proposal that would write voter ID into the state constitution is on the ballot. The video, titled Voter Fraud 101, was promoted on Facebook and paid for by the NC Republican Council of State Committee, a political action committee chaired by Forest and largely funded by Greg Lindberg, a major political donor currently under federal investigation. Although Facebook doesn't release targeting information in its online ad archive, data from ProPublica’s Facebook Political Ad Collector shows that some of those targets included North Carolinians interested in President Donald Trump.
https://www.wral.com/want-to-commit-voter-fraud-nc-s-top-republican-tells-you-how-/17940245/

Holding ... on for dear life

When you're a professional politician at risk of losing your free ride, you can get kind of testy. That's the case with George Holding, who has been slopping at the public trough for much of his lethargic life. Linda Coleman is giving him a run for his money in NC's 2nd Congressional District, and old George can't quite figure out how to fight back.

Tuesday News: Financing despotism

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ALLEGED "SOCIAL WELFARE" PAC HAS TIES TO TIM MOORE AND HOUSE GOP: Two years ago, the Carolina Leadership Coalition launched with the stated mission of promoting social welfare by advocating for economic development, innovative education strategies, lower taxation and limited government. But the group’s website and social media accounts show it wants to keep Republicans in control of the state House, where they have a super majority, with lengthy critiques of House Democratic candidates that include brushes with the law, legal disputes and their criticisms of the NRA. Two officials with the coalition also have key roles with Citizens for North Carolina, a political action committee supporting House Republicans. Within a month of the 2016 general election, the coalition gave two donations totaling $175,000 to the PAC. Two other coalition officials are identified as political allies of House Speaker Tim Moore from his home county. The coalition, PAC, and House Republicans also use the same businesses to raise money and produce campaign ads.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/article220258650.html

Tuesday Twitter roundup

The very latest in Republican negligence:

This is Trumpcare by the numbers; people with pre-existing conditions are losers and don't deserve good coverage.

Trump wants to define transgenderism out of existence

We're back to the whole birth certificate thing again:

The department argued in its memo that key government agencies needed to adopt an explicit and uniform definition of gender as determined “on a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable.”

“Sex means a person’s status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth,” the department proposed in the memo, which was drafted and has been circulating since last spring. “The sex listed on a person’s birth certificate, as originally issued, shall constitute definitive proof of a person’s sex unless rebutted by reliable genetic evidence.”

And just like that, another freedom is arrogantly stripped away. In other contexts, we might say a "definition" is merely a mundane classification, with no real-world consequences. But in the context of the Trump administration, where putting toddlers in concentration camps is considered "sound" policy, that definition becomes a lot more sinister. How far away from the further step: "You don't meet our definition of a human being, so human rights are no longer applicable" could we be? Not far enough, that's for sure. And we can now put to rest the presumption that right-wing think tanks are relatively harmless:

Monday News: The other green economy

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GROWING NUMBER OF NC LEADERS SUPPORT DECRIMINALIZATION OF MARIJUANA: Business leaders were more pro-marijuana than some of their political counterparts. Former Bank of America CEO Hugh McColl said decriminalizing marijuana is the single biggest thing North Carolina could do to reduce crime, and the presidents of the Charlotte and Asheville chambers of commerce, Bob Morgan and Kit Cramer, both said the state should legalize and tax it. Others in the survey spoke of the racial implications of marijuana laws, which are often unevenly enforced by the police. Numerous scientific studies have found that white and black people report using marijuana and other drugs at similar rates, yet black people are significantly more likely to be arrested and to be incarcerated for marijuana specifically, as well as for drug crimes in general. “The criminalization of marijuana possession is the equivalent of a throw down gun that the police can use when it is convenient to remove people they consider undesirable,” said James Coleman, a professor at Duke University School of Law,
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/influencers/article220314765.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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DOES THE NC GOVERNOR STILL HAVE ANY POWER? NOT IF THE LEGISLATURE HAS ITS WAY: “We’re strongly urging all North Carolinians to reject this backdoor effort that would lead to manipulation and cronyism in an institution that must remain fair, independent and impartial.” As McCoy noted, the amendment could lead to court packing to shift the balance of the court. Democrats have a 4-3 majority on the N.C. Supreme Court. If that holds after the November election, Republicans could add two seats with candidates named by the legislature. Republicans have denied they have any such plan but that would be consistent with their previous actions, including cutting three seats on the N.C. Court of Appeals to reduce Gov. Cooper’s chances of making appointments to the second-highest court. Republican legislators say the constitutional amendment is needed to take the politics out of judicial appointments. Excuse us if we —and the former governors and chief justices — are skeptical of their motives. This constitutional amendment would make any flaws in the current system worse. It should be rejected.
https://www.newsobserver.com/opinion/article220177520.html

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