IT'S THE TIME OF THE SEASON FOR KWANZAA: 1. Umoja means “unity.” On his Kwanzaa website, Karegna defines this as: “To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race.” 2. Kujichagulia means “self-determination:” “To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves.” 3. Ujima means “collective work and responsibility:” “To build and maintain our community together and make our brother’s and sister’s problems our problems and to solve them together.” 4. Ujamaa means “cooperative economics:” “To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together.” Similar to Ujima, this principle refers to uplifting your community economically. 5. Nia means “purpose:” “To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.” 6. Kuumba means “creativity:” “To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.” 7. Imani means “faith:” “To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.” I endorse this holiday.
CAWTHORN'S RUSSIA STORY IS SO FULL OF HOLES IT WOULD SINK IN BOWL OF PUDDING: "We got on a boat and went into St. Petersburg and Russia," Cawthorn said in the interview. "And, you know, we just decided to take $100 each and go into a casino and see how it went. And, you know, I ended up meeting an American there who was a captain in the Army and was originally from Miami. And so we hit it off, created a really great relationship and stayed in contact for about a year and a half." Speculation aside, Cawthorn's story itself raises a lot of questions. When did this all happen? Who did he travel with? Which casino? And who was Captain Todd? Meredith College political science professor David McLennan was in disbelief about the Cawthorn story. "This is a bad Hollywood script that would be rejected for a film or TV series," he said. Bingo. It's all bullshit.
WAKE COUNTY APPARENTLY WANTS TO BE COVID GROUND ZERO: In the past seven days, some Wake County communities saw a nearly 100% increase in their COVID-19 positivity rate. Zebulon saw a 98% increase and Apex saw an 89% increase, according to data from the state Department of Health and Human Services. The positivity rate in Morrisville, Wake Forest and Holly Springs is up more than 70% in the past seven days. Most towns and cities in Wake County don't require a mask mandate, but Zebulon, Raleigh, Knightdale and Morrisville do. WRAL News has reached out to the mayors of every town without a mask mandate in Wake County to find out if they're considering implementing new mandates. As of 4 p.m. on Wednesday, only three had responded. Mayors of Fuquay-Varinia, Wake Forest and Holly Springs all said they would not be reinstating a mask mandate at this time. Vivan A. Jones, mayor of Wake Forest, said she had not made a decision about reinstating a mask mandate and Sean Mayefskie, mayor of Holly Springs, told WRAL News town officials would continue to monitor and review the data. Omicron is spreading like wildfire, this is not the time to waffle.
VERMONT READY TO DEFEND WOMEN'S REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS: Early in the new year, the Vermont House of Representatives is due to begin debate on an amendment that would enshrine the right to abortion in the state constitution and send the question to voters in the fall. Because the process began two years ago, it's a coincidence that Vermont lawmakers will be considering the Reproductive Liberty Amendment while the U.S. Supreme Court is considering a case that could severely erode a right that has stood for half a century. The pending decision in that case, expected in mid-2022, means it's not just Vermont with abortion on the legislative agenda. State legislatures across the country will be responding to the possibility of seismic change to the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion across the U.S. Republican-led legislatures are ready to further restrict or ban abortions outright while Democratic-led ones are seeking to ensure access to abortion in their state law. I feel compelled to once again say: this is a core Democratic principle, not to be bargained or negotiated away. If the NCGA passes something to block this right, it needs to be Vetoed and upheld by Dem lawmakers. Period.
R.I.P. HARRY REID: Harry M. Reid, who died Tuesday at age 82, was one of the longest-serving Senate majority leaders in the history of the United States. He was remembered by Republican opponents and his fellow Democrats as one of the nation’s most consequential lawmakers during two presidencies, for his support for young leaders and for a sometimes hidden personal warmth. Reid, who represented Nevada in the Senate for 30 years, played a key role in the rescue of the American economy during the housing market crisis of the late 2000s and was instrumental in the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Flags at the Capitol will be lowered to half-staff in his honor, and Las Vegas’s international airport was recently renamed after him. Former president Barack Obama recalled Reid pushing him to run for the White House even as a first-term junior U.S. senator from Illinois. “I wouldn’t have been president had it not been for your encouragement and support, and I wouldn’t have got most of what I got done without your skill and determination,” Obama wrote in a letter to Reid, which was released to the public after the former majority leader’s death. He may have had his issues, but I always liked him.