Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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BURR AND TILLIS DISAPPOINT: Burr and Tillis, jurors who are sworn to “do impartial justice,” voted NOT to hear any witnesses. We’ve been watching, listening and following the Senate impeachment trial – which really has only been opening and closing statements. REAL trials in the United States include the basics: Calling witnesses who testify and are cross-examined under oath along with the introduction of evidence that seek to prove or exonerate the accused. Do Burr and Tillis believe the president is free to repeat his Ukraine caper? Is it that Trump can do anything he wants? Do they agree with the absurd logic of Alan Dershowitz: "If a president does something which he believes will help him get elected in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment." Burr and Tillis have violated their oaths. This is a trial without evidence. November 2020 cannot come soon enough.​​​​
https://www.wral.com/editorial-burr-and-tillis-disappoint/18929496/

Thanks to Trump, election meddling is now acceptable behavior

Republican voters are being encouraged to skew SC's Democratic Primary:

South Carolina has open primaries where voters can choose which party’s primary, if there is more than one to choose from, to vote in. But the Republicans pushing their members to vote for Sanders want to change that, saying on Facebook they want to ”point out the consequences of not closing the primaries in SC to just those voters who participate in each party” — a goal they can accomplish if enough Republicans turn out at the polls on Feb. 29.

They also see another benefit in helping Sanders win. “We want to be able to have a say in giving Donald Trump that opportunity in November to face Bernie in the debate, give a clear look to American voters, here’s your capitalist success story and here’s your socialist,” said Karen Martin, who is the organizer of the Spartanburg Tea Party.

They're not the sharpest tools in the shed, to say the least. Supposedly worried about SC's open Primary, and how (imaginary) Democrats abuse it, so they're going to abuse the hell out of it just to make a point. Isn't that like shooting up a school full of children just to expose how vulnerable they are? Yes, it is. It's also a common development with people who have held a paranoid delusion too long without uncovering evidence to back it up; they create their own evidence. Operation Chaos was originally dreamed up by Rush Limbaugh back in 2008, to sew discord in the Clinton Obama Primary. And it's very likely this new effort isn't just SC Tea Party nonsense, it's part of a broader effort by Republicans to meddle in Democratic affairs. Like flooding the Iowa Caucus Hotline with prank calls to clog the line:

Saturday News: Oh, the irony

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UNC BOG CHAIRMAN "DISAPPOINTED" IN BEHAVIOR OF ECU TRUSTEES: One East Carolina University trustee resigned and another was censured Friday after they were recorded offering to help finance a student body president campaign on the Greenville campus. Phil Lewis, who had been appointed to the ECU Board of Trustees by the UNC System Board of Governors, offered his resignation. It was accepted effective immediately. The UNC board voted to censure ECU trustee Robert Moore. It was the strongest action the board could take against Moore because he was appointed to the ECU trustees by the state legislature. The legislature would have to decide to remove him. “I’m incredibly disappointed,” Board of Governors Chairman Randy Ramsey said during a specially called meeting Friday to address the turmoil among the ECU trustees. “Personally, if I could remove the entire board today, I probably would.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/education/article240037378.html

Major victory for disabled persons living in NC

Being able to stay home is something many take for granted:

The case, Samantha R., et al. v. North Carolina, et. al, was filed in Wake County in May 2017. The suit claimed that North Carolina does not offer enough community-based supports for people with I/DD. Many people with I/DD would prefer to live in their home communities but have been placed into institutions in order to receive services. In addition, long waiting lists for services, and the lack of community services continue to put many people with IDD at risk for institutionalization.

The judicial order declares that the State and DHHS have violated a legal mandate – passed nearly 30 years ago – that people with disabilities may not be forced to live in institutional settings in order to get the services they need.

Even in the best of conditions, institutionalization is not a far cry from being in prison. You're only allowed very few personal items, privacy is pretty much non-existent, and just taking a stroll outside is considered a "perk" instead of a basic freedom. And it's not even more efficient. Extract from a BlueNC diary written in 2017:

Notes from the Kakistocracy: Meadows oozing into Chief of Staff position

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Yes, the Trump administration can get more incompetent:

When it comes to filling the chief of staff role after the impeachment dust settles, Trump has suggested his first choice remains retiring Rep. Mark Meadows, sources familiar with the talks said. During Thursday's post-acquittal speech, Trump thanked Meadows at length for his support during the impeachment proceedings and called him "an extraordinary guy" and "very special."

Meadows, in turn, was the only other person who spoke during the President's address -- rising from his seat in the audience to praise Trump. "I just wanted to say that this reflection today is a small reflection of the kind of support you have all across the country," Meadows said. "We've got your back."

And there goes my gag reflex. With the prospect of Meadows being in charge of pretty much everybody who works in the White House, now is as good a time as any to remind people of his lack of concern and leadership when his own office was a stalking ground for a serial sexual harasser:

Friday News: Shameful

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REPUBLICAN DONOR USED MENTALLY CHALLENGED SISTER TO FUNNEL CAMPAIGN CASH: Chad Price says Mako Medical, the fast-growing lab testing company he co-founded in Raleigh, started with frustrations he faced getting his younger sister the medical tests she regularly needed. His sister Jessica, 37, was born with a genetic condition that left her with the mental capacity of a young child. She lives with Price, who is her legal guardian, at his home in Apex. But in campaign filings, Jessica emerges as an administrative employee for Mako and a political donor, contributing $17,500 to five state or federal candidates in four states, including North Carolina. For three of those candidates, Chad Price had made the maximum contributions in his own name. Those contributions are among hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign money flowing predominantly to Republican candidates from Chad Price and a small group of people and businesses connected to him over the past five years. During that time, Price developed deep connections with state elected and appointed officials, two of whom joined his businesses.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article239289663.html

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