Wednesday News: Education mandate

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LEANDRO JUDGE BACKS $427 MILLION FUNDING PLAN: A North Carolina judge has approved a plan that calls for spending $427 million this year to improve the state’s public education system. But it’s questionable whether the money will be provided. The $427 million action plan developed by the State Board of Education and Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s administration includes pay raises for teachers, increasing funding for at-risk students and expanding early childhood education programs. “We are constitutionally mandated to move these issues forward, and I’m as committed as ever to complying with that constitutional mandate without anybody getting in the way,” said Lee, who is in charge of overseeing the long-running Leandro school funding lawsuit.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/education/article245385185.html

The GOP strategy depends on voters hating one another. I don't hate them, but I do feel sorry for them.

In case you've been hiding under a rock (perfectly understandable), you know that Republicans count on people hating one another. Indeed, one part of their strategy is to make themselves so loathsome that no decent person can stomach them. They're all about the gag reflex, and they're good at is.

Seems like a kind of Tar Baby thing, where they get you mired in their ugly ways, fighting against their blinding stupidity. The only thing they're smart about is luring you in. Horned lizards.

Tuesday News: Out of the frying pan...

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FITNESS CENTERS OPEN IN DEFIANCE OF PHASE 2 RESTRICTIONS: Planet Fitness is reopening some gyms in North Carolina this week, despite a coronavirus executive order that keeps gyms closed. Crunch Fitness is also reopening gyms, ABC11, The News & Observer’s news partner, reported. And O2 Fitness says on its website that several locations in North Carolina are open as of Aug. 28. A spokesperson for Gov. Roy Cooper, Dory MacMillan, said in an email that Cooper would talk Tuesday about the next phase of easing restrictions on businesses, which would take effect later this week. The changes would come a week earlier than previously announced. A state Justice Department letter in June said indoor gyms should be open to people who use them as part of a medical treatment plan. Planet Fitness told members it will not require members to show documentation of medical need.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/coronavirus/article245378940.html

Tuesday Twitter roundup

I endorse this message. Tillis hasn't done squat for North Carolinians in the last six years. Quintessential oxygen thief.

Day 169

I've been relatively quiet for the past month, mostly thinking and observing what's going on out there. Here's what's on my mind.

Thoughtful people are their own worst enemies. They seem compelled to express their worries out loud, spreading anxiety like the plague. If you're one of those worriers, please stop announcing your fears. If you have to say something, say something constructive like: "We have less than two months to put an end to the nightmare we've been living for four years. Get to work."

North Carolina's U.S. Senate race is a tossup

We desperately want blue, but purple will do (for now):

Running in a key presidential battleground, Tillis has to hope things go Trump's way here. The first-term incumbent, who only narrowly won in 2014, ended up avoiding a contentious primary but had to spend money and political capital in the off-year to do it. He didn't make many friends with an infamous flip-flop on Trump's border wall, first penning a Washington Post op-ed against use of an emergency declaration to secure funds for the wall and later, in an appeal to Trump, reversing his position.

He's up against former state Sen. Cal Cunningham, a member of the Army Reserves. It'll be an expensive race, with forces on both sides of the aisle already having booked millions of dollars for TV advertising. Cunningham is outpacing the incumbent on fundraising, bringing in $7.4 million to Tillis' $2.6 million in the second quarter.

CNN has NC as their #4 state for a "flip the Senate" category, but I believe it is the most critical state. Support for Tillis in GOP circles is lukewarm at best, and if he is able to squeak by again, it would not bode well for other NC races. We have to watch out for national conservative PACs swooping in, but we also need to prepare for homegrown shenanigans:

Monday News: Two thousand, six hundred ninety two

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NC COVID 19 CASES SURPASS 166,000, LESS THAN 1,000 HOSPITALIZED: At least 166,127 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus and 2,692 have died, according to state health officials. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Sunday reported 1,051 new COVID-19 cases, down from 2,585 the day before. The health department said the Saturday’s new cases included about 1,000 positive tests from early August that LabCorp had just reported. As of Saturday, the latest date available, health officials said nearly 9% of tests were positive. State health officials have said that number should be 5% or lower. At least 917 people in North Carolina were reported hospitalized with COVID-19 on Sunday, down from 965 on Saturday.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/coronavirus/article245368740.html

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