Tuesday News: Fast and loose

MARK ROBINSON'S CAMPAIGN SPENDING IS A BIG, HOT MESS: Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson’s campaign report does not explain why $186 worth of medical bills were campaign-related. Or why he bought “campaign clothes and accessories” for $2,840 with the majority being spent at a sporting goods store. It doesn’t explain why his wife needed to be reimbursed $4,500 for campaign clothing or how and where she spent the money. “I think it’s questionable,” Phillips said. “Maybe his wife is someone who is with him and campaigning and there could be a case for additional expenditures ... but that needs an explanation.” And then there are the medical bills. “I have seen some leeway where people buy clothes or even get a haircut,” Phillips said. “But I’ve never seen a doctor’s bill being used or paid for by a campaign contribution and listed in a campaign finance report.”

Monday Numbers: Failure to expand Medicaid in NC hurts children


Hat-tip to Rob Schofield for keeping his eye on this ball:

39 – number of states (including the District of Columbia) that have expanded Medicaid
12 – number (including North Carolina) that have not expanded
53.8% – share of the uninsured children in the U.S. who live in those 12 states
38.2% – share that live in just four non-expansion states: Texas, Florida, Georgia and North Carolina

NC Republicans never had a good excuse for blocking this, but now they have nothing. Under the Biden administration's new push, the Federal government will cover 90% of the cost, and healthcare providers will cover the remaining 10%. For the mathematically challenged, that leaves Zero percent. The only thing that remains is a childish and irresponsible stubbornness to reject former President Obama's policies, however effective they might be. And as long as they continue to block this, their claims of being "pro-life" are pure hogwash:

Monday News: Ten thousand, nine hundred twenty six


NC HOSPITALIZATIONS FOR COVID 19 CONTINUE DOWNWARD TREND: At least 842,637 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus and 10,926 have died since March, according to state health officials. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Sunday reported 2,541 new COVID-19 cases. At least 1,647 people in North Carolina were reported hospitalized with the coronavirus as of Sunday, marking the fifth day in a row that hospitalizations have declined. As of Friday, more than 1.1 million first doses and more than 608,000 second doses of the coronavirus vaccine had been administered in North Carolina. Some Triangle county health departments have had to reschedule COVID-19 vaccination appointments as some doses were not shipped last week due to snow and ice that hit much of the country.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


FOR THE SAKE OF OUR CITIES, PASS THE RESCUE ACT: We understand the need for fiscal responsibility. State law requires balanced budgets. Despite our best efforts, the fiscal challenges the pandemic has caused for local governments are unprecedented. The American Rescue Plan will give our cities the resources we need to fund our essential services — such as keeping our police and firefighters on the job. It’ll fund a vaccination program of the scope we need to end this pandemic. It’ll provide economic relief to North Carolinians facing economic desperation — through $1,400 checks, extended unemployment insurance benefits, rental and utility assistance, affordable child care, and emergency food and nutrition assistance — the kind of help we know can make a difference. We need more tools to rescue North Carolina’s small businesses from further pain through flexible grants and low-cost capital.

Saturday News: Lock 'em up


2 MORE NC RESIDENTS CHARGED IN CAPITOL INSURRECTION: Two more North Carolina residents — including a Davidson County woman accused of being part of a right-wing militia group — have been arrested in connection with the violent Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol. They were identified in newly released court documents Friday as Laura Steele, 52, of Thomasville, and Lewis Easton Cantwell, 35, of Sylva. Steele was one of six new alleged members of the right-wing group from three states who were arrested and charged with breaching the Capitol. The other included her brother, Graydon Young of Englewood, Fla., and two married couples: Kelly and Connie Meggs of Dunnellon, Fla.; and Bennie and Sandra Parker of the Cincinnati area. Cantwell, who had a midday hearing Friday in Asheville’s federal courthouse, is charged with storming the Capitol, destroying property, refusing to leave and interfering with a police officer and attempting to disrupt a government activity, among other crimes.

Robinson's anti-semitism earns rebuke from ADL


Of course no apology is forthcoming:

In a statement to JI, the Anti-Defamation League denounced the lieutenant governor in the group’s first public remarks on the upstart lawmaker. “It is incumbent upon all public leaders to forcefully condemn antisemitism, racism, xenophobia, homophobia and all forms of hate,” Doron Ezickson, vice president of the ADL’s Mid-Atlantic and Midwest division, told JI. “Robinson must apologize.”

But Robinson has refused to do so. “When I made those posts as a private citizen, I was speaking directly to issues that I’m passionate about,” he said at the news conference in early February. “As a public servant, I have to put those opinions behind me and do what’s right for everyone in North Carolina,” he added. “I’m grown enough to do that.”

Dude, when you're "passionate" about attacking Jews, it makes you even more dangerous, not less. And the fact you're too stupid to realize how bad that sounds is just one more item on a long list of disturbing personal quirks. But in the era of Trump, people barely notice it:


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