Activists blame DCCC for loss in Kansas Congressional race

The establishment is always a handy punching bag:

After a longshot Democratic candidate came within seven points of winning a Kansas district that has been Republican for more than 20 years, progressive strategists blamed the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for not putting enough money and resources into the race, and national operatives more broadly for too little attention.

"To the Washington Democratic insiders who wrote this race off before it began, it’s time to wake up and realize that the grassroots expects this resistance effort to be waged unflinchingly in every single county and every single state across the country,” said Jim Dean, president of Democracy for America, a progressive advocacy group.

I saw a lot of excitement about this race on social media over the last several weeks, so about a week ago I decided to look at the demographics in that district. The former incumbent (Mike Pompeo), whom Trump tapped to lead the CIA, had won the last three elections by a whopping 30% margin over his Democratic opponents. Even with a new, virtually unknown Republican running to fill that seat, it would have been almost impossible for a Democrat to win. But Ron Estes had already won a state-wide race for Treasurer, so he was fairly well known. All that being said, the DCCC needs to look at more than just statistics, it also needs to be aware of energy and interest, and be ready to act when opportunities present themselves:

Wednesday News: Kneeling towards theocracy

GOP LAWMAKERS QUOTE SCRIPTURE IN BILL BANNING SAME-SEX MARRIAGE: A bill filed Tuesday by four N.C. House Republicans would direct state government to defy a U.S. Supreme Court ruling and restore the state constitution’s ban on same-sex marriage. The bill quotes the Christian Bible and says the ruling “exceeds the authority of the court relative to the decree of Almighty God that ‘a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh’ (Genesis 2:24, ESV) and abrogates the clear meaning and understanding of marriage in all societies throughout prior history.” The bill would order state government to return to the constitutional amendment known as Amendment One, which was approved in a 2012 voter referendum. It also says that same-sex marriages performed in other states wouldn’t be recognized in North Carolina.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article144006904.html

Duke University rethinking construction of natural gas facility

Taking a step back to evaluate their options:

For a university that has always been protective of its global reputation, contributing to global greenhouse gases through a natural gas plant is no way to burnish that image. That’s one of the conclusions of a Duke University Campus Sustainability Subcommittee, which released a report on a proposed combined heat-and- power natural gas plant today.

As a result, university Executive Vice President Tallman Trask announced that the board of trustees won’t vote as scheduled on a new $55 million, 21-megawatt combined heat and power natural gas plant on campus.

It's good they're taking a long, hard look at this project. I was going to say, "It's about time," but I don't want to look a gift academic horse in the mouth. But timeliness aside, there was one particular point I was looking for in the Subcommittee's report, and I found it:

Tuesday News: About those hogs...

TWO NC RIVERS ON TOP 10 MOST ENDANGERED LIST THANKS TO CAFOS: Two North Carolina rivers were ranked among the top 10 most endangered rivers in the country for the second year in a row when this year's study was released early Tuesday morning. American Rivers ranked the Neuse and Cape Fear rivers the No. 7 most endangered because of the number of hog and chicken farms located in the rivers' flood plains. Roughly 4 million North Carolinians get their drinking water from the rivers. The potential for damage was seen during Hurricane Matthew when more than 140 swine and poultry barns and a dozen open pits holding hog waste flooded.
http://www.wral.com/animal-farms-put-neuse-cape-fear-rivers-among-10-most-endangered/16638077/

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Still having to fight this fight:

Hat-tip to the N&O for publishing this OpEd:

Mark Meadows: Poster child for ending gerrymandering

We need to build a wall to keep people like him out:

There have been some predictions of a shutdown based on statements from some congressmen that they don’t want to fund a border wall with Mexico as part of a bill to keep the government going, the fear that some conservative House members like Meadows will use the occasion to get concessions on one issue or the other or the possibility of a debate over a ban on funds for Planned Parenthood.

Meadows predicted that Congress will approve funds for a border wall and increases for the military and Department of Homeland Security along with funds to keep the government going and dismissed the idea of a shutdown.

Anti-immigration, anti-abortion, and more money to bomb the shit out of Muslims. When these are your main priorities, you have no business being allowed into the Capitol Building, much less filing bills and voting and such. We've got a lot of work to do.

Monday News: The GOP's lust for power

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REPUBLICAN LEADERS MAKE ANOTHER GRAB FOR ELECTION BOARDS: County elections boards would go from three to four members, evenly split between the parties, and county boards would pick their own chairmen or chairwomen, although Republicans would be chairs in even-numbered election years — in other words, the most important election years. The bill in the House as drawn by Republicans was hastily done and Democrats rightly complained they didn’t get much of a look at it until the last minute. The substance of the bill is just wrong, and the haste with which Republicans leaders wanted to move it makes it all the more suspect.
http://www.newsobserver.com/opinion/editorials/article143624584.html

Please support HB200, non-partisan redistricting Commission

It may be the only way to save our democracy:

No district shall be drawn for the purpose of favoring a political party, incumbent legislator, or member of Congress, or other person or group, or for the purpose of augmenting or diluting the voting strength of a language or racial minority group. In establishing districts, no use shall be made of any of the addresses or geographic locations of incumbents.

Except to the extent required by the North Carolina and United States Constitutions, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and applicable court decisions, no use shall be made of:

(1) Political affiliations of registered voters.
(2) Previous election results.
(3) Demographic information, other than population head counts."

At our Alamance County Democratic Party Convention yesterday, Pete Glidewell (recent Congressional candidate in NC's 6th District) made an eloquent and impassioned argument on the dangers of partisan gerrymandering. This is not a "new" problem by any stretch of the imagination, we've been living with the consequences of blatant partisan gerrymandering since the 2012 Election. And while there have been some promising developments on the legal front, we're over halfway to the next round of redistricting following the 2020 Election, and we need to fix this thing if we can. Here are some stats Pete provided to drive that home:

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