Daily dose

Monday News: Thirteen thousand, one hundred fifty one


POSITIVE TESTS FOR CORONAVIRUS IN NC ARE DOWN TO 2.5%: At least 1,004,669 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus and 13,151 have died since March 2020, according to state health officials. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reported 680 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, up from 481 cases on Thursday. At least 613 people were hospitalized with the coronavirus as of Friday, the same count as the day before. As of Wednesday, the latest day for which data is available, 2.5% of coronavirus tests were reported positive. Roughly 54% of adults in North Carolina have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine and about 50% are fully vaccinated, according to the state health department.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


STATE SENATE SHOWS QUALITY DOESN'T COUNT: Senate Republican leader Phil Berger, after Thursday’s vote said “the headline in this debate, was Governor Cooper has no plan. Shouldn't that be something folks are concerned about? That he has no plan to deal with the issue of natural gas in the state of North Carolina?” There it is. Delli-Gatti’s fate wasn’t about whether she’s able to do the job. She is eminently qualified – having worked for the EPA as a congressional liaison, the Environmental Defense Fund ad director of Southeast Climate and Energy and she is an Air Force veteran. She has both the experience and skills to do a good job for North Carolina. She’d been on the job with hardly a complaint since February. Nobody believes she is not qualified. This is a Sen. Berger political power play and his obedient caucus dutifully agrees.

Saturday News: Grifting in Greenville


TRUMP WILL DELIVER SPEECH TONIGHT AT NC GOP CONVENTION: President Donald Trump is returning to North Carolina for one of his highest-profile appearances since leaving the White House. And he’s hyping his Saturday night speech at the NCGOP state convention in Greenville in a very Trump way. “A great honor to be speaking at the North Carolina GOP convention tomorrow night. I understand the place will be packed, all records broken!” Trump said in a statement Friday. Trump, who carried the state during both of his presidential bids, will speak at 7 p.m. at the Greenville Convention Center after a 5:30 p.m. dinner. It is a ticketed event for about 1,250 people and is sold out. “North Carolina produced a big victory for us, without a fraudulent outcome — missing ballots, illegal voting, dead people voting, and all of the other Democrat tricks,” Trump said in statement Friday.

Friday News: Blowback


RENOWNED BLACK FEMALE CHEMIST TURNS DOWN UNC RECRUITMENT EFFORT: "The news this week that Nikole Hannah-Jones was denied tenure was very disheartening. It does not seem in line with a school that says it is interested in diversity," wrote Professor Lisa Jones in her letter to UNC. "Although I know this decision may not reflect the view of the school's faculty, I will say that I cannot see myself accepting a position at a university where this decision stands. I appreciate all of the efforts you have put into trying to recruit me but for me this is hard to overlook." The chemistry department explained that this is going to have long-term impacts on them and others for years to come. "As you can see, this is already having a chilling effect on future hiring at UNC, particularly from under-represented groups."

Thursday News: Newtonian obstruction

NC SENATE COMMITTEE VOTES TO REJECT COOPER NOMINEE TO RUN DEQ: A state Senate committee voted Wednesday to reject the nomination of Dionne Delli-Gatti, Gov. Roy Cooper’s nominee to head the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality. The vote represents the first time the Senate has moved not to confirm a cabinet-level secretary since the process was created following Cooper’s victory in 2016. Sen. Paul Newton, a Cabarrus County Republican who made the motion to deny Delli-Gatti’s appointment, said his decision was tied to Delli-Gatti’s “failure to articulate” the Cooper administration’s stance on natural gas or the MVP Southgate pipeline during an April confirmation hearing. Senate Republicans did not give Delli-Gatti a chance to speak during Wednesday’s meeting. Sen. Phil Berger, the Senate leader, said he expects the full Senate to vote on Delli-Gatti’s nomination Thursday.

Wednesday News: Not-so-bright ideas


REPUBLICAN "SIGNING BONUS" PLAN RUNS INTO FEDERAL ROADBLOCK: The proposal would pay $1,500 to someone who takes a job within 30 days, or $800 if the person is hired within 60 days. Lawmakers' original plan was to use federal pandemic unemployment funds to pay for the bonuses, but federal law does not allow those funds to be used as bonuses. Congress would have to take action to allow states more flexibility in how the federal funds can be used. The extended federal unemployment benefits will expire September 6th. But summer tourism season is already underway, and restaurants and hotels are struggling to find enough staff to serve the public. Edwards says the bonuses could help. Congressman Ted Budd (R-NC13) has proposed a bill that would replace the extended pandemic unemployment benefits - currently worth $300 a week - with a $900 federal back-to-work bonus. He called the extended benefits a "stay home bonus."

Tuesday News: "Person Three"


UNIDENTIFIED NC MAN WAS A COORDINATOR FOR OATH KEEPERS JAN 6: On Friday, the same day a grand jury approved the new indictment, Department of Justice prosecutors were describing in court filings what else they've learned about the group's so-called Quick Reaction Force, an effort to allegedly bring guns to a Northern Virginia Comfort Inn as backup for the siege. The Friday filing described whom prosecutors believe to be the organizer of the QRF, a person from North Carolina identified as "Person Three." The anonymized name means the person may not be arrested and charged at this time -- and Person Three is not among the four new charged defendants. Previously, prosecutors had described how the Oath Keepers gathered and stashed weapons at the Comfort Inn, and how defendant Thomas Caldwell of Virginia allegedly had floated an idea of ferrying weapons across the Potomac River to assist with the Capitol siege.

Monday News: Thirteen thousand seventy eight


NC'S COVID 19 CASE COUNT PASSES ONE MILLION MARK: At least 1,001,154 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus and 13,078 have died since March 2020, according to state health officials. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reported 738 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, down from 849 the day before. At least 694 people were hospitalized with the coronavirus as of Friday, up from 681 the day before. As of Wednesday, the latest day for which data is available, 3.8% of coronavirus tests were reported positive. Roughly 53% of adults in North Carolina have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine and 48.8% are fully vaccinated, according to the state health department.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


CHARADE BONUSES? JUST PAY NC WORKERS A LIVABLE WAGE: Former Gov. Pat McCrory, now a GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate, bragged in a recent interview about slashing the state’s unemployment benefits back in 2013 to among the lowest in the nation. He perpetuated the myth that lowering benefits drives people to work saying some employers tell him “they cannot fill jobs now because when you pay people more not to work, guess what they’ll do? Most of them won’t work.” The facts just don’t bear it out. North Carolinians want to be on the job. Private sector employment for April has increased from 3.337 million a year ago to 3.763 million. In the hospitality and leisure sector, some have contended restaurant wait staff are shirking jobs in favor of government payouts. Not so say the figures. Employment surged 54% from 287,000 last April to 442,000 this year. What some workers are realizing, as they’ve struggled to cope during the pandemic, is the costs of childcare and related expenses to maintain a low-wage job are actually money losers.

Saturday News: Aiding and abetting treason


TILLIS VOTES TO BLOCK PROBE INTO JAN 6TH INSURRECTION: Senate Republicans blocked the creation of a commission Friday that would investigate the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, using the filibuster to prevent a vote on the legislation. North Carolina Republican Sen. Thom Tillis voted not to end debate, a procedural vote that ends consideration of the underlying bill. Fellow Republican Sen. Richard Burr was not present to vote, one of 11 senators who did not vote. Burr was in North Carolina due to an unavoidable conflict, according to a spokesperson Friday. Supporters needed 60 votes to move to the legislation in the Senate. Six Republicans voted in support of the commission, but the 54-35 tally did not reach the needed threshold. It was the first GOP filibuster since Democrats gained control of the Senate in January.


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