BlueNC's blog

Thursday News: Christmas bonus, GOP style

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SEVERAL QUARANTINING AFTER PHIL BERGER'S STAPH PARTY: Several people with ties to state Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger's office were in quarantine Wednesday after attending Berger’s recent Christmas party. According to spokesman Pat Ryan, Berger, R-Rockingham, hosts a Christmas party every year for current and former staff members. This year, the senator hosted a smaller celebration with some current staff and guests at a Raleigh restaurant. “The gathering was in line with all relevant restrictions, including capacity limits inside restaurants," Ryan said in a statement to WRAL News. Current pandemic restrictions limit indoor gatherings to 10 people, but restaurants are allowed to seat up to 50 percent of their indoor capacity. Ryan estimated the party had fewer than 30 attendees.
https://www.wral.com/coronavirus/nc-senate-leader-s-staff-exposed-to-virus-at-holiday-party/19432804/

Wednesday News: Certifiable

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STEINBURG GOES OFF THE DEEP END ON TRUMP ELECTION CONSPIRACY THEORY: Sen. Bob Steinburg, R-Chowan, paraphrased on his Facebook page comments that retired Gen. Thomas McInerney made earlier this month on a conservative talk show. Among other things, McInerney suggested President Donald Trump declare a national emergency, invoke the Insurrection Act and suspend habeas corpus. Steinburg also made it clear he believes the recent presidential election was stolen and that Trump is the victim of a conspiracy to which multiple countries, the media, U.S. government agencies, officials and judges are either a part or turning a blind eye. “There’s something going on here bigger than what anybody is willing to talk about," he said. "I’m not nuts. … I’m not a conspiracy theory person. I don’t like them. I don’t like conspiracy theories at all. But something is going on here that’s bigger than meets the eye.”
https://www.wral.com/nc-senator-ok-with-suspending-civil-liberties-in-wake-of-trump-s-defeat/19431251/

Tuesday News: Change we can live with

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RACIAL EQUITY TASK FORCE RELEASES RECOMMENDATIONS: Gov. Roy Cooper’s task force on racial equity released dozens of recommendations Monday in a report that called for widespread changes to address racial bias within the state’s policing and criminal justice systems. The 125 recommendations address policies and laws that disproportionately affect people of color, from traffic stops to protest responses, arrests and reentry into the community after prison time. Other recommendations in Monday’s report include decriminalizing marijuana, revising the role of school resource officers and increasing oversight and accountability for law enforcement. “This is just the start of a public conversation,” Stein said. “We are committed to working alongside leaders across the state to turn these ideas into action.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article247828785.html

Monday News: Five thousand, eight hundred twenty three

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DAILY CASE COUNTS FOR CORONAVIRUS CONTINUE TO RISE IN NC: North Carolina reported 6,819 new lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases on Sunday, the second-highest total since the pandemic began, according to data from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. Across the state, 2,520 people were hospitalized with the virus, according to data reported by 95% of hospitals. That’s the second-highest number of COVID-19 hospitalizations during the pandemic, topped only by Saturday’s reported number. Hospitalizations have been steadily increasing for a month, reaching new highs on each of the 10 days before Sunday. North Carolina also reported 27 new COVID-19 deaths Sunday, bringing the virus’ total toll to 5,823 residents.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/coronavirus/article247815125.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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ENTERTAINING TRUMP'S PHONY CLAIMS BREEDS UNWARRANTED DISTRUST IN ELECTIONS: The failure to acknowledge the obvious – that Biden DID get the most votes from ALL Americans who cast ballots and DID capture the most electoral college votes to become the next president – isn’t some passive partisan act. Why do these elected representatives tolerate and even encourage Donald Trump’s outrageous and false claims in his desire to keep an office he didn’t win? Why aren’t they speaking up for the integrity of the ballots cast by voters who put them in office? These elected representatives are breeding unwarranted distrust in our electoral system – the most honest and secure on the planet. That isn’t some modest conjecture. Just look at what’s been done by state and local elections officials here in North Carolina. Every challenge – no matter how frivolous – has been objectively examined and found baseless. That’s been repeated by state and local election officials across the nation.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-entertaining-trump-s-phony-claims-breeds-unwarranted-distrust-in-elec...

Saturday News: Sanity returns

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U.S. SUPREME COURT CURTLY DISMISSES ELECTION LAWSUIT: The Supreme Court on Friday rejected a lawsuit backed by President Donald Trump to overturn Joe Biden’s election victory, ending a desperate attempt to get legal issues rejected by state and federal judges before the nation’s highest court and subvert the will of voters. Trump bemoaned the decision late Friday, tweeting: “The Supreme Court really let us down. No Wisdom, No Courage!” In a brief order, the court said Texas does not have the legal right to sue those states because it “has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another State conducts its elections.” Trump complained that “within a flash,” the lawsuit was “thrown out and gone, without even looking at the many reasons it was brought. A Rigged Election, fight on!”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/national-politics/article247774205.html

Friday News: Obstinacy

NC GOP LEADERS HOLD MOSTLY MASKLESS INDOOR VICTORY PARTY: Nationwide, 15.5 million people have reportedly contracted the virus resulting in 290,000 deaths. That did not stop the NC Republican Party from hosting a Victory Party Saturday, along with a luncheon, an executive committee meeting and its central committee meeting. The 96 photos published of the events show some of North Carolina’s leaders attending without masks. Gov. Roy Cooper’s press secretary Dory MacMillan responded to the event in a written statement to The News & Observer. “Elected officials who care about our overwhelmed health workers and the lives of our most vulnerable people will cancel parties and mask up during a critical time of record-high cases and hospitalizations,” MacMillan wrote. “Leaders from all political stripes should come together and set the right examples.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article247752120.html

Thursday News: Culture of fear

ELON POLL FINDS 60% OF NC RESPONDENTS MAY NOT TAKE COVID VACCINE: That number is “low and disappointing,” UNC Charlotte public health sciences Professor Melinda Forthofer told the Observer. “Our best bet for managing this pandemic is to have a much higher percentage of people receiving the vaccine when they can,” she said. Some people surveyed by the Elon poll said they wouldn’t get the vaccine because they worry they could contract COVID-19, or that they believe the vaccine development happened too quickly. But Wessner said it’s impossible to contract COVID-19 from the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. 30% of people surveyed identified themselves as Republican, 35% identified as Democrat and 35% identified as neither.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/coronavirus/article247723660.html

Wednesday News: Stay at home

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GOVERNOR COOPER ANNOUNCES 10PM-5AM CURFEW STARTING FRIDAY: The 10 p.m. curfew means that everyone must stay at home between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. unless they are traveling to or from work or traveling to obtain essential goods or services, such as food, fuel, medical care. People can also travel during curfew hours if they must provide care for a family member. This means that in addition to the current orders — requiring face masks, social distancing and business capacity limitations — retail stores, restaurants, entertainment venues and personal care businesses must close by 10 p.m. Cooper said on Tuesday that “we will do more if the trends do not improve.” This could mean more restrictions on restaurant dining, indoor entertainment or shopping, or further restrictions on retail business capacity.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/article247699950.html

Tuesday News: Invertebrates

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NC'S CONGRESSIONAL REPUBLICANS REFUSE TO ACKNOWLEDGE BIDEN WIN: WRAL News contacted all 10 Republican U.S. House members and U.S. Sens. Thom Tillis and Richard Burr on Monday to ask whether they believe Biden has won and whether they will accept him as the legitimate president if he wins the majority of the electoral votes on Dec. 14. Spokespersons for 5th District Congresswoman Virginia Foxx, 7th District Congressman David Rouzer, 8th District Congressman Richard Hudson, 9th District Congressman Dan Bishop and 13th District Congressman Ted Budd responded without answering the questions. Most issued statements calling for election integrity and saying all claims of fraud need to be investigated. The other seven didn't even respond. "I think the silence speaks a lot about the state of the Republican Party and the fear in which they’re operating under," McLennan said.
https://www.wral.com/nc-republicans-in-congress-reluctant-to-acknowledge-biden-as-president/19418678/

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