Wednesday News: The Trump Effect?


MORE RACIST VIDEOS POSTED BY WAKE COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS: A Wake County principal responded this week to two racially charged videos posted on social media by Broughton High School students. Principal Elena Ashburn sent a letter to parents and students Monday confirming the school was aware of the videos recently posted online. “Two videos with Broughton students were posted on social media that contained racist language and stereotypes. As soon as it was brought to our attention, we quickly began investigating the incidents,” the letter said. In one video, a white student refers to brown people in a derogatory manner, referring to “walls infested with curry.” “Looking around at all the brown people around here and you’re just like get me the [expletive] out of here,” the student says in the video. In a second video, two white students are seen imitating a sweeping motion while referring to themselves by using the N-word as other students laugh in the background.

Tuesday News: State of Disunion

FBI DEPUTY DIRECTOR ANDREW MCCABE RESIGNS AFTER FREQUENT TRUMP ATTACKS: A 22-year veteran of the FBI, McCabe has been publicly and repeatedly lambasted over the past year by Trump, who has accused him of bias because of his wife's political connections and an FBI investigation that produced no criminal charges against Hillary Clinton. McCabe, who has held a number of FBI leadership roles and been heavily involved in investigations into major crimes including the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, becomes eligible for retirement in a matter of weeks. The departure comes as FBI Director Christopher Wray makes changes to his senior leadership team, replacing two other top aides last week. Such changes are not unusual when a new director takes charge, but they are notable amid Trump's public pressure on Wray to get rid of officials who were confidants of James Comey, whom he fired as FBI director last May.

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Should be at least near the top of your priority list:

Listen to Tara, she knows what she's talking about:

The nuts and bolts of GOP Judicial redistricting

Hat-tip to Melissa Boughton for parsing the maps:

There are 64 current district court judges double-bunked in nine judicial districts encompassing 15 counties in the “Option A” proposal. That’s 24 percent of all district court judges. “Double-bunking” for the purposes of this article means that there are a smaller number of seats in a judicial district than there are current sitting judges. That means incumbent judges in those areas would either be forced to run against another incumbent in an election or face losing their seat if their term expires after the seats are filled.

Of the 64 district court judges who are double-bunked, 47 are registered Democrats and 17 are registered Republicans. There are one percent fewer district court judges double-bunked in “Option A” than the last HB717 map Burr introduced in November. There are also fewer Black or African-American judges double-bunked in this map, but the number is still high considering representation is already an issue on the bench. There are 32 percent of Black or African American judges double-bunked in “Option A,” compared to 43 percent in the last map from Burr.

As you can see from that second paragraph, Justin Burr was well aware he was flirting heavily with a lawsuit that would likely result in his twisted maps being thrown out. So he toned it down a little. But the partisan and racist volume of this effort is still deafeningly loud. But it isn't just double-bunking these judges have to worry about; if the timing is right, they won't even be able to run for a seat:

Monday News: Bad investment


LONE DONOR GIVES $2.4 MILLION TO SUPER PACS SUPPORTING DAN FOREST: Though he hasn’t officially declared his candidacy in the 2020 race for governor, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest is getting a head start on fundraising, with help from a multi-million-dollar donor. According to campaign finance reports, Forest’s election committee raised $631,515 between the end of the 2016 elections and last December, and has $336,239 left over after spending. In a press release, the Republican lieutenant governor’s campaign said Forest also raised money for Truth and Prosperity, a North Carolina super PAC, along with the Republican Council of State Committee, of which Forest is the chairman. According to their campaign finance reports, Truth and Prosperity raised $1 million in the second half of 2017 and the Republican Council of State Committee raised $1.4 million – all in the form of contributions from Durham resident Greg Lindberg.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


SOLAR ALREADY MAKING AMERICA GREAT, TARIFFS THREATEN IT: Homegrown energy, boundless local economic advancement opportunities, and jobs for communities that need them most. What’s not to like about solar energy? It seems our current federal administration is determined to find something. President Donald Trump’s recent move to impose a 30 percent tariff on solar panels looks a lot like a solution looking for a problem. Here in North Carolina, a state ranked #2 in the nation for installed solar capacity, this news is confusing and frustrating at once. Even those who do not identify as a solar consumer or advocate have experienced the residual benefits of our state’s growing, $10 billion clean energy economy, largely propelled by solar in the past decade. Those benefits include new property tax revenues, jobs, local economic expansion, and lower long-term electric rates. In its coverage of the tariff decision, The Wall Street Journal asks, “Can Donald Trump stand prosperity?” We have to ask that question ourselves, as this decision immediately jeopardizes current and future economic opportunities resulting from solar energy.

Saturday News: Power, checked


NC SUPREME COURT SIDES WITH COOPER ON GOP TAKEOVER OF ELECTION BOARDS: In a 4-3 ruling that breaks down along the court’s partisan lines, the justices found that a law passed in 2017 that merged the state Board of Elections with the state Ethics Commission and limited Cooper’s power to appoint a majority of its members violated the state Constitution’s separation of powers clause. The ruling, in a case that has attracted national attention, means that the governor’s party will control elections boards at the state and county levels, as has been the case for decades before Cooper defeated one-term Republican Gov. Pat McCrory. That could have implications for voting hours and poll locations in this year’s elections.

The long racist history of Thomas Farr

It's a lot more sinister and ingrained than you think:

Founded in 1937 to pursue “race betterment” for those “deemed to be descended predominantly from white persons who settled in the original thirteen states prior to the adoption of the Constitution,” the Pioneer Fund was the “primary source for scientific racism” well into the 2000s and one of the key funders of the fight against civil rights in the South from the 1950s onward.

Farr’s connection to the Pioneer Fund comes principally through his longtime boss and mentor, Thomas Ellis, the political mastermind behind the arch-segregationist Senator Jesse Helms. Ellis was a Pioneer Fund director, grantee and close associate of the hate group’s president, Harry Frederick Weyher, Jr., for over 60 years. In the 1980s, hundreds of thousands of dollars flowed from the Pioneer Fund to a tax-exempt foundation called the Coalition For Freedom that was under Ellis’ control and represented by Farr.

This man really has no business even being in a court of law, much less presiding over it. You may want to put on a haz-mat suit before reading any further:

Friday News: Loony birds of a feather


DAN FOREST RECEIVED DONATIONS FROM WORD OF FAITH CULT MINISTERS: Campaign finance records show that Lt. Governor Dan Forest last year accepted a campaign donation from the leader of a controversial North Carolina church. Forest, a socially conservative Republican, will likely seek the party nomination to run against Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper in 2020. Forest faced criticism from the N.C. Democratic Party last October for attending a July fundraiser with members of Word of Faith Fellowship in Spindale. Word of Faith has come under scrutiny in recent months after 43 former members told the Associated Press that church members try to expel demons using “blasting” prayers where congregants were smacked, choked, punched and thrown to the floor. Five members face criminal charges for their alleged actions in a 2013 church service. A former member says they tried to beat the “homosexual demons” out of him.


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