Thursday News: Because the Constitution


GOP FACES ANOTHER LAWSUIT OVER FOUR WAKE COUNTY DISTRICTS: Attorneys for the state NAACP, League of Women Voters, Democracy North Carolina, the A. Philip Randolph Institute and four named voters want the courts to change four Wake County districts back to what they looked like in 2011. That was before the GOP majority was forced to redraw the state's House and Senate election maps in a federal case brought by much the same legal team and which found racial gerrymanders in a number of districts statewide. The plaintiffs' lawyers in that case argued repeatedly that Republican legislators violated the North Carolina Constitution in that redraw because they changed district lines they didn't have to. Absent a court order, the state constitution forbids redrawing districts more than once a decade, a process undertaken after the U.S. census produces new population numbers. Attorneys argued Republican leaders didn't have to redraw the four Wake County House districts targeted in this latest case to address the previous racial gerrymander. Those four districts are 36, 37, 40 and 41.

Coal Ash Wednesday: Duke Energy pockets $231 million from Trump's tax scam

And that's just for the last three months of 2017:

Electric Utilities and Infrastructure recognized fourth quarter 2017 segment income of $826 million, compared to $483 million in the fourth quarter of 2016. In addition to the drivers outlined below, fourth quarter 2017 results were impacted by a $231 million benefit related to the Tax Act and a $14 million after-tax charge related to regulatory settlements. These amounts were treated as special items and excluded from
adjusted earnings.

On an adjusted basis, Electric Utilities and Infrastructure recognized fourth quarter 2017 adjusted segment income of $609 million, compared to $483 million in the fourth quarter of 2016, an increase of $0.18 per share.

A couple of clarifications: That net $826 million is from all utilities, not just those actually operating in North Carolina. But that was "netted" from about $3.2 billion dollars in revenues, for the 4th Quarter alone. And one of the best ways to judge just how profitable a company is, you need to look at stockholders' dividend payments:

Another round of layoffs at the Greensboro News & Record

So much for Warren Buffet coming to the rescue:

BH Media Group, a division of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK.A), citing a decline in advertising revenue, has laid off employees at its two newspapers in Greensboro and Winston-Salem, the company said Tuesday.

The company is reducing staff by six employees at the Greensboro News & Record and not filling five vacant positions, while one person was offered a different job. At its sister paper, the Winston-Salem Journal, one person has been let go, four vacant positions have been eliminated and another two people have been offered different positions.

That may not seem like a big deal, since they cut several times that number just a few years ago. But this one hurts maybe even more. Both Doug Clark and Susan Ladd were let go this time, two strong voices of reason in both their (newspaper) blogs and the editorial pages. They won't be replaced, they can't be replaced. And the overall tone of the paper will suffer. I know some people tend to avoid the editorial pages so they won't be pulled one way or another, but the truth is, those columns help us understand the impact of policy changes; what brought them about, and how they may affect us. And we just lost two of the best explainers.

Wednesday News: Not-so-silent Sam

UNC WARNS OF POTENTIAL WHITE NATIONALIST RALLY ON CAMPUS TODAY: UNC-Chapel Hill officials warned of possible trouble on campus as rumors swirled of a white nationalist rally planned for Wednesday. Kevin Guskiewicz, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, sent a message to deans and department chairs, saying word has spread that “individuals not affiliated with UNC-Chapel Hill” are planning a “Rally for Nationalism.” He did not mention the expected time or location of the rally. But a student activist sent a notice to media calling attention to what they characterized as a neo-Nazi group planning to be on campus Wednesday. The students plan a counterprotest to “unify UNC” at 2 p.m. at the South Building, home to the office of Chancellor Carol Folt and other administrators.

Tuesday News: PC Police?

CONSERVATIVE DOTARD DEVELOPS USELESS SOLUTION FOR SCHOOL SHOOTINGS: In the wake of a shooting in Florida that left 17 high school students dead, a North Carolina legislator is encouraging people to report suspicious behavior – even if it means defying what he called the “PC police.” State Sen. Ronald Rabin, a Republican from Harnett County, is worried some people won’t report suspicious behavior because they’re afraid of being seen as insensitive, he said in a Facebook post and interview Monday. "All Must call! The problem is that the politically correct police make it a “no-no” to say anything that may hurt feelings or offend anyone in any way,” Rabin posted. He continued: “Folks be alert, watch and report. Law enforcement react. This is the best deterrent to these acts of violence. Do not let the unidentified, ubiquitous PC Police interfere with stopping these heinous acts.”

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Talk about a spike in attendance. There's usually only about 20 or so people at this monthly meeting:

And as a companion Tweet to that one:

UPDATED: Dem candidates in EVERY House and Senate district

At this point there appears to be 33 28 11 "Zero" House Districts unchallenged. Republican (incumbents or open seat challengers) candidates for each seat are listed:

HD4 **Da'Quan Marcell Love** & **William Terrill Vann III** vs. (Jimmy Dixon)
HD9 **Kristoffer Charles Douglass Rixon** vs. (Greg Murphy)
HD10 **Tracy Blackmon** vs. (John Bell)
HD13 **Charles Dawson Deaton** vs. (Pat McElraft)
HD14 **Isaiah Johnson** vs. (George Cleveland)
HD28 **Jimmie Maurice Massengill** vs. (Larry Strickland)
HD36 **Julie von Haefen** vs. (Nelson Dollar)
HD46 **Barbara Singletary Yates-Lockamy** vs. (Brendan Jones)

The long list continues below...

Monday News: Tone deaf and self-absorbed


SHOOTING SURVIVORS BLAST TRUMP FOR USING MASSACRE FOR POLITICAL ATTACKS: Students who escaped the deadly school shooting in Florida are focusing their anger at President Donald Trump, contending that his response to the attack has been needlessly divisive. David Hogg, a 17-year-old student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, said: 'You're the president. You're supposed to bring this nation together, not divide us.' Hogg on "Meet the Press" Sunday was responding to Trump's tweet Saturday that Democrats hadn't passed any gun control measures during the brief time they controlled Congress with a supermajority in the Senate. Trump also alluded to the FBI's failure to act on tips that the suspect was dangerous, while bemoaning the bureau's focus on Russia's role in the 2016 election. After more than a day of criticism from the students, the White House says the president would hold a "listening session" with unspecified students on Wednesday and meet with state and local security officials Thursday.


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