Thursday News: Master of Innuendo

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TOM FETZER TRIES TO STYMIE ECU TRUSTEE INVESTIGATION: At Wednesday’s committee meeting, Board of Governors member Tom Fetzer opened up the questioning and initially asked Davenport to drop the complaint based on the fact that the student is not currently enrolled at ECU. Davenport denied that request, saying he has an obligation to ECU students and faculty to uphold the policies of the UNC System and state ethics. Fetzer asked Davenport about his knowledge of the meeting between the trustees and Hudson and about his potential role in orchestrating the recording of it. Davenport said he was told that Lewis had requested the meeting but did not know what it was about and did not help facilitate the recording. Fetzer also questioned why Hudson had the conversation with these trustees expressing her interest in the election when she had no intention of being a student this spring. Her attorney was not present to speak on her behalf.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/education/article239963778.html

Mark Johnson's staff engaged in illegal wiretapping of former employee

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And there needs to be a formal investigation of this by NC DOJ:

Allegations surfaced during a recent Department of Information Technology hearing that when retiring K-3 Literacy Director Carolyn Guthrie turned in her DPI-issued MacBook laptop in 2017, she neglected to log the device out of her iCloud account. As with any such organization, the Department of Public Instruction has a policy that devices of departing employees must be wiped clean. DPI reportedly did not follow that protocol with Guthrie’s laptop, and her personal iPhone text messages continued to sync to the MacBook’s iMessage app for more than a year after her departure. According to deposition testimony referenced at the hearing, Guthrie noticed her phone pairing with another device but did not realize it was her old laptop until she learned that DPI was in possession of her personal communications.

If the allegations are true, that would mean someone at Johnson’s department actively monitored Guthrie’s personal iPhone text message communications using her old laptop. It would mean someone working under Johnson’s supervision made a decision to read through private communications between Ms. Guthrie and her family and friends until finding something that was useful.

Unwritten rule #14: If you stumble across information you weren't supposed to have access to, you cannot use it until you find another source for said information that isn't so radioactive. It ain't rocket surgery, but apparently Marky Mark and his Funky Bunch are not very clever...

Wednesday News: The company you keep

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DAN FOREST IS DIRECTLY LINKED TO BRIBERY SCANDAL: Lt. Gov. Dan Forest's chief of staff reached out to Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey's office in early August 2017, seeking a meeting for two men who would later be indicted and accused of trying to bribe Causey. At the time, the state Department of Insurance was reviewing three insurance companies Lindberg owned. Within a month of the reach out, more than $50,000 flowed into Forest's campaign coffers from associates of Greg Lindberg and John Gray, at least in part because Lindberg hosted a fundraiser at his home. Lindberg himself donated $400,000 that month to a second political committee that the lieutenant governor controls and that accepts unlimited donations. By the end of that year, Lindberg had deposited $2.4 million in political committees backing Forest's current run for governor. Forest put out a press release at the time, trumpeting his ability to bring in such a haul.
https://www.wral.com/forest-aide-sought-meeting-between-insurance-chief-financier-later-indicted/189...

Tuesday News: Really, UNC?

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KENAN-FLAGLER INVITES ANTI-VACCINE NUT-JOB TO SPEAK ON HER SUCCESS: The UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School has faced campus-wide controversy and debate after it invited an influencer who has made claims that align with the anti-vaccine movement to come speak on campus. Activist Vani Hari was invited to speak to students because of her entrepreneurial success from the perspective of mobilizing customers for change, Dean Douglas Shackelford of Kenan-Flagler said. The date of the speaker event is still to be determined. In Hari's blog, “Food Babe,” she claims some vaccines, including the flu vaccine, can have harmful effects such as Alzheimer's disease. She has been called a fearmonger by scientists, according to NPR and Business Insider. “Not only has Hari built her business on misinformation, but that misinformation has the great potential to harm people and impact students,” Majdic said. “And that’s where the University needs to draw the line.”
https://www.dailytarheel.com/article/2020/02/kenan-flagler-speaker-0204

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Please don't forget about this, folks:

I think we can all agree that young voters are a reliably progressive voice, and we need them now.

Trump tariffs are forcing NC farmers into bankruptcy

This is not fake news, but he will try to spin it that way I'm sure:

The number of family farms filing for Chapter 12 bankruptcy last year spiked 20 percent nationally, according to a study by the American Farm Bureau Federation. That’s the highest increase since 2010, the year after the Great Recession ended. In the Southeast, it swelled 48 percent from 2018.

The $87 billion agriculture industry plays a crucial rule in North Carolina’s economy, according to N.C. State University. It employs 17 percent of the state’s workforce. According to the Farm Bureau, there were 16 filings in North Carolina in 2019 — a 33 percent jump from 2018 — and 10 in South Carolina, more than three times higher than the 2018 total.

Funny thing, you hardly ever see one of these bankrupted farmers on the news, except maybe in some deep-dive documentary where the producers spend weeks tracking people down. It's actually not funny, because when they are finally forced to give up, the last thing they want to do is admit their failure to a large audience. It's a hard life, making one or two paydays a year cover all your costs and feed your family until the next harvest. The last thing they need is a toddler knocking over that fragile formula by disrupting their market. But by and large, farmers still support Trump, even though he has thrown them under the bus in favor of Big Ag numerous times:

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