Thursday News: No easy cure


FEDERAL JUDGE RULES BALLOTS MUST HAVE WITNESS SIGNATURES: A federal judge ordered more changes Wednesday to absentee voting rules after hundreds of thousands of mail-in ballots have been cast and as early, in-person voting gets underway Thursday. U.S. District Court Judge William Osteen criticized the NC State Board of Elections, saying it had misconstrued or misinterpreted findings he made in August in a way that changed election rules from what had been decided by the state lawmakers who hold authority under the U.S. Constitution to do so. “This court upheld the witness requirement — to claim a cure which eliminates the witness requirement is consistent with this court’s order is a gross mischaracterization of the relief granted,” Osteen said. All five board members agreed on the settlement that did away with the witness requirement in a state lawsuit before it reached the judge. That included the board’s two Republican members who resigned afterward.

Amy Coney Barrett flunked the racial bias test

Apparently being called a nigger by your boss is not hostile:

The 2019 case involved a Black Illinois transportation employee who sued the department after he was fired. He said his supervisor had created a hostile work environment and called him the N-word.

The unanimous three-judge panel ruled that the employee had failed to prove that he had been fired because of his race. In her opinion, Barrett wrote that the N-word is an "egregious racial epithet," but she argued that the employee couldn't win by simply proving the N-word was said to him.

If it had been a co-worker, or even a supervisor from a different department, her argument might have merit. But a direct supervisor doing that changes everything. It calls into question previous disciplinary "problems" the employee had on his work record, which is what Barrett used to justify dismissing the case. She ignored the inherent and obvious bias in his chain of command, and then held him responsible for the results of that bias. Forgetting (for the moment) the election results or dangers to Roe v. Wade, this decision proves she can't rule properly on any labor vs. management issue, a substantial portion of the Court's docket.

Wednesday News: No Po-Po at the Polls


NC ELECTIONS DIRECTOR BARS UNIFORMED LAW ENFORCEMENT FROM ELECTION SITES: A chorus of state Republican leaders on Tuesday accused Gov. Roy Cooper’s administration of being anti-police after the state elections chief said uniformed police shouldn't be stationed at polling places during early voting or on Election Day. State elections director Karen Brinson Bell sent a memo to local elections officials last Friday on proper conduct and safety at voting sites, spelling out steps to take to minimize the potential for voter intimidation during an increasingly tense election. Brinson Bell advised county officials to meet with local law enforcement about security concerns and election laws, but she said uniformed law enforcement officers should not be stationed at polling sites. Republicans accused her and Cooper's administration – she was hired by the Democratic-controlled State Board of Elections – of being anti-police and "appeasing the radical left."

Tuesday News: Superspreader, unleashed


TILLIS OUT OF QUARANTINE, READY TO PACK THE SUPREME COURT: U.S. Senator Thom Tillis, who tested positive for coronavirus earlier this month, has been cleared to resume in-person activities, according to his doctor. The senator will also take part in an antibody study to help experts learn more about COVID-19 and how it is spreading. Hours after President Donald Trump was hospitalized with COVID-19 on Oct. 2, Tillis announced his own positive test. Tillis shared that he tested positive for COVID-19 but was experiencing few symptoms other than loss of taste and smell. After his COVID-19 diagnosis, Tillis said he regretted removing his face mask while attending an event in the White House. Tillis said he plans to return to Washington to participate in the confirmation hearings for Amy Coney Barrett.

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Dude doesn't even know what "full-time" means. Home-schooled, cut classes all the time in college, and now he's got some vague real estate occupation. Col. Morris Davis, on the other hand, doesn't know what "part-time" means, after a quarter of a century of active duty. There's only one real choice in this election.

Analysts: Trump can't win without North Carolina


Which is why we've been "blessed" by so many visits:

President Donald Trump’s frequent visits to North Carolina are a sign: the state and its 15 Electoral College votes are critical to his effort to win reelection. He has made seven appearances here since July 27 — four in September alone.

Biden leads Trump by a slight margin in North Carolina, which Western Carolina University political scientist Chris Cooper called the most-important swing state in deciding the election. “I think there is a path to victory for Biden that doesn’t go down Tobacco Road, but I don’t think the same is true for President Trump,” Cooper said.

While I find it frustrating we still need to worry about Trump winning North Carolina (WTAF, people), it's somewhat comforting to know Biden can still win without us. Just like Obama did in 2012 with 332 Electoral votes. But (once again) it's the suburbs in NC that will determine the outcome:


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