Saturday News: Negligent to the bitter end


CHERIE BERRY REFUSES TO CLASSIFY COVID 19 AS A WORKPLACE HAZARD: Berry noted that on Oct. 26, as an example, less than 1.5% of people who had contracted COVID-19 in North Carolina died from the virus. She wrote that most of those deaths were people over the age of 65, who are generally “no longer active in the workforce.” Public health officials contest this logic. “This is not a disease to gamble with,” Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson Kelly Haight said in response to a request for comment on the letter from The News & Observer. Haight noted that “people of all ages play a role in transmission of COVID-19 to older North Carolinians.” There have been 280 reported clusters at workplaces, with 6,636 associated cases and 30 associated deaths through the end of November, according to the state health department, including 4,047 cases associated with meat processing plants alone.

Justin Parmenter sets the record straight on GOP critics of online learning

Hypocrisy is their middle name:

In the case of Craig Horn, who has served a full decade in the House, it’s particularly ironic to hear criticism of online education efforts. Last year, rather than using his leadership position to call on the General Assembly to commit resources to removing barriers to in-person Pre-K attendance, Horn championed the shockingly bad idea of having 4 year-old children of poverty attend virtual Pre-K. Keep in mind, that was before anyone had even heard of COVID-19.

Numerous studies have shown that access to Pre-K vastly increases a child's performance in later school years, but it's the flipside of that coin that many Republicans are really opposed to: The ability of young mothers to get back into the workforce while their child is attending. And the fact many of those young mothers are black is also on their minds, no matter what arguments they concoct to distract from that. For those who haven't had to worry about child care for a long time, it now costs north of $1,000 per month (my daughter paid $1,250 in 2020). More from Justin:

Friday News: Passing the baton

NC HOUSE DEMS CHOOSE ROBERT REIVES AS MINORITY LEADER: With Reives’ election, Democrats in both chambers of the General Assembly will be led by Black men for at least the next two years. Sen. Dan Blue, a Democrat from Raleigh, was reelected in November to continue serving in his current position of Senate minority leader, which he has held since 2015. Blue served as the first Black House speaker from 1991 until 1994. Rep. Darren Jackson announced earlier in November he wouldn’t run for reelection after holding the position for four years. Following that announcement, Reives said he would run, WRAL reported last month. “If he hadn’t offered to run, he would’ve been recruited to run,” said Rep. Pricey Harrison, a Democrat from Greensboro. “People respect him so much on both sides of the aisle.”

Federal Appeals Court overturns ban on Voter ID in NC


Using a bad argument to accuse somebody else of using a bad argument:

The 4th Circuit ruling puts aside arguments by civil rights groups that sued over the law. They contended, in part, that the current voter ID rules can’t be carried out because previous courts declared Republicans approved a 2013 voter ID law with intentional racial discrimination in mind.

“The outcome hinges on the answer to a simple question: How much does the past matter?” Circuit Judge Julius Richardson wrote in the opinion, citing a U.S. Supreme Court decision. “A legislature’s past acts do not condemn the acts of a later legislature, which we must presume acts in good faith.”

The thing is, that "later legislature" is composed of many of the same bad actors that wrote the 2013 law that was struck down. Phil Berger, David Lewis (who resigned this previous Summer after lying to a bank official), Warren Daniel, and several other lesser ticks that have burrowed into the legislative body. Their goal (vote suppression) has not changed one iota from seven years ago, and they have literally never acted in good faith. Back to the judges:

Thursday News: Hand-to-eye


BEASLEY CAMPAIGN DEMANDS A SECOND, MORE ACCURATE RECOUNT: Justice Paul Newby led North Carolina’s Supreme Court chief justice race after a statewide recount finished late Wednesday night, but the election isn’t over. Incumbent Chief Justice Cheri Beasley’s campaign staff said in a news release they are demanding a hand-to eye recount, which differs from the recent recount tabulated by voting machines. The request came around 11 p.m. Wednesday. Following the first recount, Newby, a Republican, is ahead of Beasley, a Democrat, by 401 votes out of the nearly 5.4 million ballots cast. The recount dropped Newby’s lead by only five votes. Beasley’s request for the hand-to-eye recount has not yet been confirmed by the state board of elections, but she had only 24 hours after the recount ended to make the request. That countdown began at 9:41 p.m. Wednesday.


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