Saturday News: Welcome back, RJA

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NC SUPREME COURT REINSTATES RACIAL JUSTICE ACT: The NC Supreme Court ruled in favor of two death row inmates Friday, allowing them to continue arguing that their cases were so tainted by race discrimination their sentences should be reduced to life in prison. The Center for Death Penalty Litigation, which has fought the legislature’s decision to close off that legal path, called the court’s move a “landmark” decision that also allows other death-row inmates to file claims. North Carolina’s Racial Justice Act passed in 2009 while Democrats controlled the legislature, allowing death row defendants to seek to reduce their sentences to life in prison if they could show racial bias played a role in their cases. The court’s ruling dropped Friday in the midst of nationwide protests focused on systemic racism in the American justice system.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article243310561.html

Despite pandemic behavior changes, atmospheric carbon is still rising

And these numbers should be truly frightening to you:

The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached the highest ever recorded — 417.1 parts per million, according to an announcement yesterday by NOAA and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Even the economic crash related to the pandemic didn’t slow the uptick in CO2, a greenhouse gas and main driver of climate change. Levels didn’t decrease in part because CO2 lingers in the atmosphere for a long time. There is also natural variability in CO2 levels based on plants and soils. So to make a dent in carbon dioxide levels, NOAA said, would require a sustained 20% to 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions for six to 12 months.

That debris you see on the beach in the photo all came from one house in Rodanthe, and happened about a week ago. Luckily nobody was occupying it at the time, but several others in nearly the same condition had to be evacuated. The fact the town was even allowing occupation of these homes just gives you an idea of the reckless and negligent approach to development there, but that's a discussion for another time. Governor Cooper and the NC DEQ are making an effort to combat climate change and prepare us for resilience:

Friday News: Break out the Veto stamp

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TIM MOORE FILES BILL TO FORCE FULL ATTENDANCE AT RNC IN CHARLOTTE: Republicans in the North Carolina House will file a bill to require capacity attendance at all events for the scheduled Republican National Convention in Charlotte in August. The move is aimed at keeping the Republican National Committee from moving parts or all of the event to another state. N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore and Rep. John Torbett are the sponsors of the legislation, according to North Carolina GOP chairman Michael Whatley. “I cannot believe Gov. Cooper has made this necessary,” Whatley tweeted Thursday night. “Obviously the state of North Carolina cannot guarantee a full arena in August,” Cooper said. “We don’t know what the virus will be at that point.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article243278251.html

Alamance County officials back-pedaling and ass-covering

When you toss responsibility into the wind, it often blows back in your face:

The chair of the Alamance County commissioners and the County Attorney took time this week to explain their roles in the controversy over the opening of Ace Speedway. “I did not say, ‘Go ahead Mr. Turner,‘” County Attorney Clyde Albright said at the commissioners’ regular meeting. “I wanted to work with them to figure out a way to avoid violating the governor’s order.”

Commissioners Chair Amy Galey and Albright said they were caught between a lack of clarity on the governor’s order and the track owners’ determination to open regardless of the potential legal problems. Commissioner Tim Sutton harshly criticized Galey for making decisions without consulting the board, and Albright for relying on court rulings upholding the right to hold church services to say Ace had the right to have more than 25 people in the crowd.

Actually Clyde, what you said was, “He cannot constitutionally limit the number of people who can peaceably assemble under the First Amendment.” The County should fire him immediately for that, but since everybody involved seems to be getting their own lawyers, they might have trouble replacing him:

Thursday News: Lame duck

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RICK GUNN FILES BILL TO REOPEN GYMS AND HEALTH CLUBS: Gyms and health clubs would be allowed to reopen at 50% capacity under legislation introduced in the Senate on Wednesday — the legislature’s second attempt to overturn parts of Gov. Roy Cooper’s current coronavirus executive order. Gunn’s proposal would allow gyms, yoga studios and other fitness facilities to reopen if employees get their temperature taken daily and wear masks unless they’re leading a fitness class where they can social distance. Temperature checks wouldn’t be required for gym customers, which prompted concerns from several senators Wednesday. “Any business of this kind ought to be doing that in this pandemic,” said Sen. Paul Lowe, a Winston-Salem Democrat. Gunn said that’s a “personal decision” for business owners, but signs would be posted at the entrances urging ill customers to stay away. Customers would be “strongly encouraged” to wear masks, but they wouldn’t be required for non-staff.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article243242086.html

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