Wednesday News: Don't be a dick, Burr

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RICHARD BURR COMES UNDER FIRE FOR WANTING TO TAX ATHLETIC SCHOLARSHIPS: From a Playboy reporter to the publisher of a conservative magazine, Burr drew fierce pushback on Tuesday for a tweet about how the government should treat student-athletes. “If college athletes are going to make money off their likenesses while in school, their scholarships should be treated like income. I’ll be introducing legislation that subjects scholarships given to athletes who choose to ‘cash in’ to income taxes.” Roughly an hour after Burr tweeted, his comment generated 6,000 responses -- most of them negative -- and less than 900 “likes.” The criticism came from the left and the right. “You could sell a t-shirt with your own smiling face on it to your friends and (Burr) would want to tax your scholarship. What a stupid backwards garbage idea,” tweeted Ben Domenech, co-founder of The Federalist, a conservative website.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article236789618.html

Tuesday News: Better start drawing...

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NC'S CONGRESSIONAL MAPS THROWN OUT BY 3-JUDGE PANEL: The legislature must now redraw the state’s 13 U.S. House districts. The judge — two Democrats and one Republican from different parts of North Carolina — wrote that the maps show signs of “extreme partisan gerrymandering” which “is contrary to the fundamental right of North Carolina citizens to have elections conducted freely and honestly to ascertain, fairly and truthfully, the will of the people.” Monday’s ruling, a preliminary injunction, said the state may not hold any elections for Congress using the current maps passed in 2016. Those maps replaced a different set of maps from 2011, also drawn by the Republican-led legislature, which were struck down as unconstitutional racial gerrymandering. The judges ruled that if there aren’t new maps in time for the primary elections on March 3 then they could delay all or some of the primaries until later in 2020.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article236752543.html

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Big news on the gerrymandering front:

Filing for Congressional races begins in about five weeks, and Berger sez this session will end this week. Those two things seem to be in conflict...

Food insecurity in Chatham County reaches critical level

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And the food pantries are struggling to keep up:

Chatham County, at the state’s geographical center, is home to 68,778 residents, 7,480 of whom are food insecure, according to data compiled by the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina.

In Chatham County, roughly one in nine people are struggling with food insecurity, which is slightly less than the statewide average of one in seven. But economic conditions in Chatham and have created an insidious cycle of need in recent years.

If there was ever a strong argument against our Capitalist system, it's this one. There's more than enough food in our state/country to feed everybody; we throw away some 38 million tons of food each year in the United States, and yet 41 million Americans don't get enough to eat. And when government leaders try to make up for their tax cuts by cutting food stamp spending, the absurdity of those numbers gets even worse:

Monday News: Uncle Joe comes to town

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BIDEN SPEAKS AT DURHAM HIGH SCHOOL ABOUT BOOSTING HBCUS AND BEATING TRUMP: Hundreds packed the entrance of Hillside High School in Durham on Sunday to hear presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speak. Biden said coming to Durham was important, calling the city a symbol of justice and opportunity. He spent 25 minutes speaking to the crowd and said winning North Carolina is a priority for him. Some goals he touched on include boosting the funding for historically black colleges and universities and closing the poverty and wage gap in America. Biden also discussed the importance of security in the country. He says ISIS remains a threat even though President Donald Trump announced the group's leader was dead after the U.S. raid in Syria.
https://www.wral.com/joe-biden-holds-campaign-rally-in-durham-talks-with-wral-anchor/18726497/

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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WITH THURSDAY'S MEETING, LET GERRYMANDERING REFORM BEGIN: Of the three bills the committee discussed, House Bill 69 -- Nonpartisan Redistricting Commission, offers the best starting point. Maps will be developed with NO legislative involvement: The independent commission would develop the legislative and congressional district maps and submit them to the General Assembly for an up-or-down vote. No substantive amendments would be permitted. If a plan didn’t pass, the commission would be directed to submit a new one. Public input from the outset and throughout the process: No fewer than three public hearings are required before the maps are developed. At least two public hearings are required when the plans are considered by the legislature. Process transparency: All data and methods used to develop any of the plans must be available to the public BEFORE the plans are introduced for consideration by the legislature.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-with-thursday-s-meeting-let-gerrymandering-reform-begin/18717942/

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