Thursday News: Loyal acolyte

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TILLIS GIVES TRUMP "BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT" ON BETRAYAL OF KURDS: U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis said Wednesday he’s giving President Donald Trump “the benefit of the doubt” on his decision to pull U.S. troops from Syria, breaking with fellow Republicans who’ve criticized the decision. Tillis’s comments came hours after Turkey launched strikes against U.S.-backed Kurdish forces in northeastern Syria. The president announced his decision to withdraw troops in a tweet on Sunday. Since then, many Republican senators — including Trump allies such as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina — have condemned it. Tillis said while he’s concerned about the situation, “The president may be working on more information than I have."
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article235958147.html

Mark Johnson is in constant Campaign mode

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Abusing the office so he can stay in office:

"I purchase lots of bookmarks. I get free bookmarks from book companies," Burton said. "I don’t need any more bookmarks." But that wasn’t the only thing the Department of Public Instruction sent. Since last year, there have been flyers with Johnson’s picture on them designed to go home with students, posters to go in hallways where he’s posing in with two sheriffs, and emails. Lots and lots of emails.

"We’re getting constant emails from him – email blasts from him," Burton said. "And we never received all that information from Dr. Atkinson before."

It's like Johnson is trying to show his mom how far he can ride his bike with no hands. As if teachers might forget who he is if he doesn't remind them every single day:

Wednesday News: Raleigh runoffs?

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INCUMBENTS CROWDER AND STEPHENSON TRAILING IN VOTES TO NEWCOMERS: Council members David Cox, Nicole Stewart and Corey Branch all won their races with more than 50% plus one of the votes cast, successfully avoiding a November run-off election. And newcomers Patrick Buffkin and David Knight will also be joining the board. That may not be the case for incumbents Russ Stephenson and Kay Crowder. The longtime council members trailed Jonathan Melton and Saige Martin, respectively, after all of Tuesday’s votes were counted, though neither of the challengers crossed the 50% threshold and Stephenson, at least, suggested that he would ask for a runoff. The power on the council shifted two years ago. The majority call themselves proponents of smart-growth, while critics say they are slow- or anti-growth. Only one in the current majority — Cox — won outright Tuesday.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/election/article235853772.html

Tuesday News: Investigate the parents

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WAKE HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS TAKE WHITE SUPREMACY TO SNAPCHAT: School administrators are investigating whether to punish students at two schools outside Raleigh, North Carolina, for exchanging racist messages online. Wake County Schools spokeswoman Lisa Luten said Monday the Snapchat discussions involved three students at East Wake High School in Wendell, and a larger number of students in nearby Johnston County, which Johnston schools' spokesman Nathanael Shelton confirmed. Both districts are investigating. WTVD reports the group chat was exposed by a 14-year-old black girl at East Wake, who posed with a white-face avatar to confirm what she'd heard about. The messages included "Pullin triggers and shootin n------"and "#bring slavery back." The girl's parents told WTVD that her principal told them there was little to be done because the threats weren't "specific" or "imminent."
https://www.wral.com/north-carolina-students-investigated-in-racist-online-chat/18683049/

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Today is the big day for some municipalities:

If you haven't already voted, make sure you do so today. If you live in a municipality that is having its election in November (like me), early voting is just around the corner.

Pope Foundation a core element of Climate Change denialism network

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A network that is coordinated and very well-funded:

According to Brulle's research, the 91 think tanks and advocacy organizations and trade associations that make up the American climate denial industry pull down just shy of a billion dollars each year, money used to lobby or sway public opinion on climate change and other issues.

“The anti-climate effort has been largely underwritten by conservative billionaires,” says the Guardian, “often working through secretive funding networks. They have displaced corporations as the prime supporters of 91 think tanks, advocacy groups and industry associations which have worked to block action on climate change.”

We've talked a lot here at BlueNC about the propaganda written by Civitas and JLF, and the amount of direct influence Art Pope has exerted on Republican lawmakers here. But those things are visible and often "in-your-face." The function of the Pope Foundation as part of a much broader scheme to undermine science is not so easily detected, unless you use science to detect the anti-science:

Monday News: Stalking by proxy

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GREG LINDBERG HAD WOMEN HE WAS ATTRACTED TO FOLLOWED: The article, based on months of reporting, interviews with some of the women involved, interviews with security personnel and a review of internal reports and messages they provided, details Durham insurance magnate Greg Lindberg's approach to dating and to identifying potential egg donors to help him have a baby. The newspaper said Lindberg scoured social media, often keying on aspiring models, then had a surveillance team research each woman's habits and whether or not she had a boyfriend. At one point, they staked out a "Sports Illustrated" swimsuit model's apartment, The Journal said. Lindberg's team used GPS trackers and reported back if the women saw other men, the newspaper said. One investigator enrolled in a culinary school to keep watch, The Journal reported. In another case, staff rented an apartment across the hall and "chronicled her entrances and exits via camera," the newspaper said.
https://www.wral.com/wall-street-journal-indicted-nc-insurance-tycoon-spied-on-women-he-wanted-to-da...

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