BlueNC's blog

Thursday News: That's also racism, Phil

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ANGRY ABOUT NOTHING, BERGER MOVES TO OUTLAW AFFIRMATIVE ACTION: “Children must learn about our state’s racial past and all of its ugliness, including the cruelty of slavery to the 1898 Wilmington massacre to Jim Crow,” Berger, a Rockingham County Republican, said at a news conference Wednesday. “But students must not be forced to adopt an ideology that is blah blah blah." In addition to the bill, Berger filed legislation on Wednesday to put on the ballot a state constitutional amendment saying, “the state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article252757753.html

Wednesday News: 3 strikes, voters are out

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REPUBLICANS PUSH VOTER SUPPRESSION BILLS IN LEGISLATURE: Senate Bills 326, 724 and 725 target absentee voting access and private election donations. The bills have similar provisions to other laws being introduced in legislatures of at least 48 states. Senate Bill 326 would shorten the deadline for counties to receive valid mail-in absentee ballots. The current law states that absentee ballots can be received up to 5 p.m. three days after an election, if the ballots are postmarked on or before the day of an election. Under SB 326, absentee ballots would have to be received by 5 p.m. on election day to be counted. “I think we got 14,500 ballots received and counted after election night,” Newton noted in an interview with WITN News. “That breeds suspicion in the mind of some North Carolinians. What could go wrong with 14,500 votes coming in after election night?” Literally everybody has waited 4-5 days (if not more) to receive something important in the mail. The only thing going through their minds is what Republicans put there, so stop it.
https://www.dukechronicle.com/article/2021/07/duke-university-north-carolina-ncga-voting-laws-republ...

Monday News: Rehabilitation

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CHARLOTTE CENTER HELPS INCARCERATED WOMEN TRANSITION BACK INTO SOCIETY: In their employment program, they prepare incarcerated people to return to the workforce and work with people whose past arrests are barriers to getting jobs. Another CCT program works with families and children of incarcerated people and focuses on their social and emotional wellness. About 80% of the women at the center are mothers, and most of their children are under the age of 18. Research shows that parental incarceration can have residual effects on children that show up as behavioral issues and other health issues. That’s why leaders of the CCT say that a holistic approach is so important. And their residential program takes women out of prison cells and into the Center for Women, where they live full-time without full freedom but with more rehabilitative support and resources than a traditional jail provides.
https://www.wral.com/charlotte-women-s-center-offers-model-for-replacing-prisons/19767003/

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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TRUITT'S JOB IS TO STAND WITH SCHOOL CHILDREN, NOT POLITICAL PATRONS: As an independently elected statewide leader her focus should be, regardless of partisan leanings, on North Carolina’s public-school students, the concerns of their parents, the necessary instructional resources, welfare and working conditions of classroom teachers and support for educational staff and administrators. If that were the case, her reaction late last month to the Senate’s budget would have been very different. She would have accurately noted – instead of ignored -- that the Senate’s spending plan falls far short of the true and desperate needs of public schools. The Senate’s spending plan continues a documented legacy of neglect. Legislative leaders don’t need any more cheerleaders. But the school children of North Carolina do. Truitt must stand up for the public schools – the students, teachers, staff and administrators -- she was elected to lead.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-truitt-s-job-is-to-stand-with-school-children-not-political-patrons/1...

Saturday News: Bank Run Burr

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RICHARD BURR IS USING CAMPAIGN FUNDS TO DEFEND INSIDER TRADING CHARGES: The North Carolina Republican has used donations from his fellow senators’ leadership committees to pay mounting legal expenses throughout 2021 as his own campaign account has dwindled. Burr said in mid-January that the DOJ probe had been closed and no charges would be filed. At least 25 current U.S. senators and one former member have contributed money since February to the Richard Burr Legal Expense Trust Fund, according to first-quarter documents filed with the Senate’s Office of Public Records and campaign finance reports. Fellow North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis and two current U.S. representatives from the state have donated. It's obvious that Burr cares nothing about ethics, when it comes to money, anyway.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article252653343.html

Friday News: It's all about the Benjamins

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UNC FUNDRAISER QUITS HIS UNETHICAL SIDE-JOB: Routh, 61, had been working for New Republic Partners for roughly two months, according to a letter the firm shared with “shareholders, clients and friends” dated May 3. That was a day before a UNC human resources director had signed a university document noting that she had reviewed Routh’s proposal to do the outside work. New Republic’s letter said Routh would serve as an independent consultant and senior advisor “available to talk with successful families and individuals, as well as endowments and foundations, about the investment management solutions, wealth advisory offerings and concierge financial services.” It was a more expansive role than what Routh described in his written proposal to UNC officials when disclosing his plans for outside work.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/education/article252653808.html

Thursday News: Saying the quiet part outloud

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TIM MOORE SPOKESBOT SEZ TRUSTEES REIGN IN "LIBERAL" COLLEGE TOWNS: North Carolina’s House speaker says there’s no need to change how members are appointed to two of the most influential higher education boards in the state, despite journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones’ call for a change to the inherently political process. “The UNC Board of Trustees is appointed by the Board of Governors and General Assembly to represent the entire state, not just the wishes of left-wing college towns, students and faculty,” said Moore spokesperson Demi Dowdy. “The current board is composed of accomplished professionals of a variety of backgrounds, and there is no appetite for changing the appointment structure.” After Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, won the 2016 election, Republicans rushed to strip the future governor of his ability to appoint Board of Trustees members at individual universities.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article252603883.html

Wednesday News: Therapy is therapy

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43-1 IN WRAL SURVEY SUPPORT MEDICAL MARIJUANA IN NC: Some viewers spoke from personal experience with medical marijuana. "I support medical cannabis because I'm a veteran of the Iraq war. And I was diagnosed with PTSD after I got out of military," said Thomas Baker in Wake County. "I was living in California at the time, and was able to access medical cannabis, and it truly helped save my life." Others said it could help them with their current medical conditions. "I hope the North Carolina General Assembly will approve medical marijuana for those of us that deal with chronic back pain due to failed back surgeries, failed nerve issues, multiple sclerosis, war victims, and so on," said Johnston County's Tanya Clemmons Cook "We deserve a break." Some said it could be a pain-management alternative to opioids, without the risk of overdose those drugs continue to pose.
https://www.wral.com/your-voice-viewers-overwhelmingly-back-medical-marijuana/19758502/

Monday News: Gun Culture Club

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SAMPSON COUNTY DEPUTY SHOOTS, KILLS ARMED PICKUP TRUCK DRIVER: In a news release, the Sheriff’s Office said the deputy stopped a pickup truck on Laurel Lake Road at the intersection of Lakewood School Road around 1:09 p.m. The release doesn’t say why the deputy stopped the vehicle. The person inside the truck was armed when the deputy approached the vehicle, the news release said. That’s when the officer fired his gun, fatally injuring the person the news release described as an “armed suspect.” “Life saving measures” were performed unsuccessfully, the release says, and the person died at the scene. The NC State Bureau of Investigation is investigating, which the sheriff’s office said is protocol in North Carolina when a deputy is involved in a shooting.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/state/north-carolina/article252570178.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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UNC TRUSTEES DID THEIR JOB AND DID THE RIGHT THING: The approval of tenure is an impediment that has been overcome. As Hannah-Jones should know well from both her work as a journalist and experience in life, it is just a battle and she has the opportunity to make those doubters – even those who might also be prejudiced – see the error of their pre-judgment and offer them enlightenment and a broader view. She must take this job. Each day she’s in the classroom, each interaction with her students and fellow academics, is a chance to further enhance the university’s reputation for higher education excellence and freedom of thought. Those who seem bent on limiting intellectual inquiry at our public universities will be further thwarted as she gives her students -- regardless of who they are – opportunities to exchange ideas, open themselves to a variety of perspectives and challenge conventional thought with civil dialogue.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-unc-trustees-did-their-job-and-did-the-right-thing/19751903/

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