The dangers of resistance organizing online

Do not allow yourself to be hijacked:

The Russian troll farm suspected of trying to disrupt U.S. elections last year apparently infiltrated Charlotte during racial protests last year, BuzzFeed News reports. The online news site says the St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency recruited U.S. activists to help stage protests in order to help divide the nation ahead of the 2016 elections.

Conrad James of the Raleigh nonprofit Living Ultra-Violet was among four activists who told BuzzFeed they never suspected they were being recruited by the Russians.

A good rule of thumb: If something seems too good to be true, it probably isn't true. That goes for fraud in general, and not just political stuff. The weird (and disturbing) part of this story is it wasn't just online shenanigans, there were a couple of flesh and blood perpetrators involved:

Wednesday News: The equality Governor

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ROY COOPER TAKES STEPS AGAINST TRANSGENDER DISCRIMINATION: Gov. Roy Cooper said Wednesday that transgender people will be able to use public bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity under a proposed settlement of a lawsuit that originated as a challenge to North Carolina’s controversial House Bill 2. Challengers had continued their lawsuit after legislators passed and the Democratic governor signed a law this spring replacing HB2, the law commonly known as the “bathroom bill.” But now the challengers are willing to drop the suit if a federal judge signs off on the proposed order that they submitted Wednesday along with Cooper, his Cabinet secretaries and state Attorney General Josh Stein. The proposed order says that under House Bill 142, “transgender people are not prevented from the use of public facilities in accordance with their gender identity.”
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article179565026.html

NC Alternative Parties Hail Passage of Major Ballot Access Reform Bill

North Carolina’s Libertarian, Green, and Constitution parties issued this statement in response to the General Assembly's override of the governor's veto of a major ballot access reform bill:

Just what we need, another Berger sizzling on the political grill

Rockingham Vice Commissioner Berger (ugh) wants to join Guilford in attacking the News & Record:

During Monday’s regular meeting, the Board of Commissioners approved a resolution requesting the North Carolina General Assembly to allow the publication of legal notices on the county-maintained website.

The resolution reads as a “response to technological advances” and cites the 2016 FCC Broadband Progress Report, which says 95 percent of Rockingham County residents have broadband coverage, as a reason for the change. It also takes aim at the “less than 4,000” subscription rate for local publication RockinghamNow, as well as the 5,900 total subscribed to Greensboro News & Record’s Rockingham section.

Sorry about the picture, but I just wanted to make sure you didn't overlook my comments about the existence of a 3rd f**king Berger on the loose.

Wednesday News: Banana Republic

NC GOP SEEKS TO UNSEAT NUMEROUS JUDGES UNDER THE GUISE OF "REFORM": Within hours of overriding a veto of legislation canceling all judicial primaries in 2018, top Republican lawmakers filed a bill Tuesday that could put every trial court and appellate court judgeship in North Carolina on the ballot next fall. Senate Bill 698, dubbed Increase Voter Accountability of Judges, calls for a statewide referendum during the primary on a proposed constitutional amendment reducing the term of every Supreme Court justice, Court of Appeals judge, Superior Court judge and District Court judge to two years. "The General Assembly is very serious about judicial reform. I hear concerns from my constituents all the time about judges legislating from the bench," Rep. David Lewis, R-Harnett, said in a statement. "Under this amendment, if a voter feels like a judge is acting like a legislator, they can vote to change their judge every two years just like they can vote to change their legislator every two years."
http://www.wral.com/judicial-ballots-could-get-really-long-next-year/17023741/

NC Republicans jump the shark on judicial elections

Trying to slash their terms to two years:

Chairmen of the House and Senate rules committees released a proposal Tuesday that would reduce terms for trial and appeals court judges to two years. District Court judges currently serve four-year terms, while Superior Court and Court of Appeals judges and Supreme Court justices get eight-year terms.

Under the proposal, voters would decide in May whether to reduce the terms and put all incumbents up for re-election the following November. Legislative support for the bill is unclear, and a news release announcing the bill suggests it could be designed to spite Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.

These guys are simply out of control. Probably 95% of North Carolinians would prefer to see less politics influencing the judiciary, but forcing these judges to run every two years will put them on a constant campaign footing, just like Congress and the Legislature. They're literally turning into gameshow hosts with their behavior, circulating rumors of taking away judicial elections completely, and then opening the curtains with flair proclaiming, "Even more elections! Elections all the time! Whee!" Dog help us.

Tuesday News: Narcissist-In-Chief

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TRUMP'S CLAIM THAT MOST PRESIDENT'S DON'T CALL FAMILIES OF FALLEN SOLDIERS VIGOROUSLY REFUTED: For U.S. presidents, meeting the families of military personnel killed in war is about as wrenching as the presidency gets. President Donald Trump's suggestion Monday that his predecessors fell short in that duty brought a visceral reaction from those who witnessed those grieving encounters. "He's a deranged animal," Alyssa Mastromonaco, a former deputy chief of staff to President Barack Obama, tweeted about Trump. With an expletive, she called Trump's statement in the Rose Garden a lie. Trump said in a news conference he had written letters to the families of four soldiers killed in an Oct. 4 ambush in Niger and planned to call them, crediting himself with taking extra steps in honoring the dead properly. "Most of them didn't make calls," he said of his predecessors. He said it's possible that Obama "did sometimes" but "other presidents did not call."
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/national-politics/article179237026.html

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Happening this morning:

We're almost done with the 6th year of Republican rule in the General Assembly, and the progress they've made in destroying democracy is enough to take your breath away.

Monday Numbers: The devastation of Trump's attack on ACA subsidies

No matter how you slice it, this is incredibly bad for most Americans:

25—percentage increase projected by the Congressional Budget Office in health premiums for medium-cost plans on the ACA health exchanges when cost-sharing subsidies under the heath care law are eliminated.

200 billion—amount in dollars of the increase in the federal budget deficit over the next 10 years the CBO projects when cost-sharing subsidies under the Affordable Care Act are ended.

1 million—number of Americans the CBO projects will lose coverage when cost-sharing subsidies under the Affordable Care Act end because of no insurance carriers in their markets.

For every action there's a reaction, and sometimes that reaction is much greater than the action, and not just "equal and opposite." The domino effect from pulling even one of the critical elements out of the ACA could be catastrophic, and you can look to NC's refusal to expand Medicaid as proof if you need it.

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