NCGA

NC GOP unveils "election integrity" committee to attack voting rights

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Soon to be renamed "Buck's Clusterf**k":

The committee will be chaired by Buck Newton, a former state senator from Wilson who ran unsuccessfully for attorney general in 2016. Other members include GOP officials, lawyers and political consultants from across the state.

During a panel at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, Whatley said the absence of voter fraud in North Carolina last fall was due to the NCGOP’s disproportionate spending on legal resources — the party spent three-quarters of its annual operating budget on legal expenditures, he said — to scrutinize the electoral process.

And a big chunk of those legal expenditures went to arguing in the (US) Supreme Court that a deadline extension on receipt of mail-in ballots, made necessary by Louis DeJoy's relentless attacks on the US Postal Service, was unnecessary and an invitation to voting fraud. Or something along those lines. But guess what? Republican voters were strongly represented in those late mail-in ballots:

What the doctor ordered: Richard Besser (MD) on the Hannah-Jones issue

Truer words have never been spoken:

“At the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, we are committed to achieving health and racial equity by dismantling cultural racism, ” Besser wrote. “A growing body of evidence shows the role that structural racism and discrimination play in health disparities for people of color in the United States. A recent New England Journal of Medicine article – which I co-authored with Dr. David Williams, a preeminent scholar on race and health and Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, former RWJF President and CEO – outlined the clear and historic pattern of disparities in the health of Black people and other minority groups as compared with White people in the United States. These findings are not the result of a singular act or policy, rather they stem from historic and systemic racist policies and structures which can be insidious or overt.”

No matter how they try to justify or rationalize the decision to deny tenure to Nikole Hannah-Jones, the practical effect is discrimination and disparate treatment. It is what it is, and not what you want it to be. The same goes for Walter Hussman, and his denial that he tried to intervene. There are e-mails detailing his intervention, FFS. More from Dr. Besser:

Truly a lost cause: Bring them all down

Vance monument in Asheville is no more:

A 75-foot memorial to a Confederate leader has been removed from its perch in downtown Asheville where it stood for more than 120 years. WLOS-TV in Asheville reports that the stone obelisk was fully dismantled over the Memorial Day weekend.

The monument memorialized Confederate colonel and governor Zebulon Vance. It is one of many Confederate statues and memorials that have been torn down across the South in the last year amid protests for racial justice.

Vance wasn't just a Confederate officer, he was racist to his very core:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

As I commented elsewhere, this should be a no-brainer. The UNC BOG coughed up $2.5 million to a handful of Confederate nutters to "settle" a lawsuit that had not even been filed yet. Making this right won't cost the Trustees a dime.

Judge rips Trump for continuing election disinformation

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The NC GOP needs to pay close attention to this:

A U.S. judge said there is a risk that Donald Trump's supporters could still carry out attacks similar to the deadly Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol, noting the former president's "near-daily fulminations" about his election loss have not subsided.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson made the remark in a written decision on Wednesday explaining why she would continue to jail Cleveland Meredith Jr. while he awaits trial on charges that he texted about "putting a bullet" in U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's head.

Recently the NC Republican Party announced that Trump's speech(es) at their 2021 Convention would be open to the public and media outlets, and you can bet he will spew more of this "election was stolen!" garbage once that mic is turned on. That convention begins 3 days from now, turning Greenville into a circus town. More from the judge:

We need more balance in appointments to UNC BOG

HB730 would have made that happen:

Four candidates shall be appointed upon the recommendation of the President Pro Tempore of the Senate. Four candidates shall be appointed upon the recommendation of the Speaker of the House of Representatives. One candidate shall be appointed upon recommendation of the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives. One candidate shall be appointed upon recommendation of the Minority Leader of the Senate. Two members shall be appointed by the Governor.

That would still leave Berger & Moore appointing 2/3 of the UNC Board of Governors (8) vs the Democrats 1/3 (4). But this bill was immediately buried in committee and did not survive the Crossover. Because in the minds of Republicans, the only thing more important than power is absolute power. This bill would also have slightly modified appointments to (each) Board of Trustees:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

And the fact they "took no vote" does not lessen their culpability. It had the effect of a "No" vote, and one they could not justify.

Vaccine mandates for colleges follow political fault lines

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It's red state vs. blue state once again:

As of this weekend, only 34 — roughly 8 percent — are in states that voted for Donald J. Trump, according to a tracker created by The Chronicle of Higher Education. Nine of those were added on Friday, when Indiana University and its satellite campuses became rare public universities in a Republican-controlled state to mandate vaccines.

With many colleges facing falling enrollments and financial pressure, the decision whether to require vaccinations can have huge consequences. Particularly in Republican-controlled states, college presidents are weighing a delicate equation — part safety, part politics, part peer pressure and part economic self-interest.

Only one of those parts should really matter: Safety. Especially considering the clusters we saw on UNC's flagship campus this previous school year, requiring a vaccine is a no-brainer. With the state's premier private school (Duke University) requiring students be vaccinated, the situation with UNC System schools becomes even more absurd. Come on, UNC.

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