GOVERNOR COOPER VETOES ANTI-CRT AND ANTI-PROTEST BILLS: North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed two bills Friday, including an anti-Critical Race Theory bill that would have regulated what views public schools can “promote” and required them to post online in advance curriculum and guest speakers who might talk about race or gender. In an emailed statement, Cooper said: “The legislature should be focused on supporting teachers, helping students recover lost learning, and investing in our public schools. Instead, this bill pushes calculated, conspiracy-laden politics into public education.” Cooper also vetoed House Bill 805, known as “Prevent Rioting and Civil Disorder,” which would have created stricter penalties for people who riot. Speaker Tim Moore filed the bill after George Floyd protests last summer became destructive. Both of these bills are deeply rooted in a racist mindset, and Republicans should be ashamed for even trying.
ORANGE COUNTY SELECTS FORMER NAACP LEADER FOR COMMISSIONER'S SEAT: Richards will be filling the vacancy left by Mark Dorosin at the end of July. She will serve through November 2022. With the appointment of Richards, six of the seven commissioners are now women, and three are women of color. “It was a tough choice to have four very intelligent and engaged women to run for office, which now leaves McKee as the only male on our board," Board of County Commissioners Chairperson Renee Price said. "Probably for the first time in history, it's going be, really, a majority-female board.” Richards, a former Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP president, said in her application that she never saw herself going into elected office, but the COVID-19 pandemic made her realize some limitations of doing solely volunteer work. “It became clear that, at the local level, the county provides the basic safety net and essential services we all need,” Richards said in her application. “Now that we are in a different stage of the pandemic, we have the opportunity to rebuild 'eyes wide open' about the disparities in technology, employment, housing, food security and health. I see this unexpected appointment as a way to add my community volunteer perspective to the process.” There are some 24 unincorporated townships in Orange County, and several are African-American. Hopefully their voices will be stronger now.
CLUB FOR GROWTH GOES AFTER MCCRORY IN HIS HOMETOWN: Charlotte fans watching the first Carolina Panthers game of the season will see a football-themed political ad taking on U.S. Senate candidate Pat McCrory, the city’s former mayor and former North Carolina governor. The ad attacks McCrory for his 2016 gubernatorial re-election bid loss to Democrat Roy Cooper, saying he was “disloyal” to then-candidate Donald Trump and was the only Republican incumbent to lose a statewide race that year. “Why? McCrory quit on his team, publicly trashing Trump. Disloyal, liberal, loser,” said the ad, which was purchased by Club For Growth Action, which is backing U.S. Rep. Ted Budd in the Republican primary. The football ad will air just once — during Sunday’s Panthers home game against the New York Jets — and only in the Charlotte television market. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. It is the first weekend of regular-season games in the NFL. The ad cost $35,000. It is designed to look as if the Panthers are playing the Jets in the commercial.
CDC DETAILS VULNERABILITY OF THOSE WHO AREN'T VACCINATED: A day after President Joe Biden issued broad vaccine mandates aimed at propelling U.S. workers to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, federal health officials released a handful of studies highlighting how effective the shots are at preventing infections, hospitalizations and deaths — even while the highly contagious delta variant has been dominant. Three studies that drew data from different U.S. regions evaluated the protective power of the vaccines. One looked at more than 600,000 virus cases in 13 states, representing about one-quarter of the U.S. population, between April and July, and concluded that individuals who were not fully vaccinated were far more susceptible to infection and death from the virus. They were 4.5 times more likely than vaccinated individuals to become infected, 10 times more likely to be hospitalized and 11 times more likely to die from the coronavirus, the study found. Vaccine protection against hospitalization and death remained strong even when the delta variant was the dominant form of infection. But the vaccines’ effectiveness in preventing infection dropped to 78% from 91%, the study found. It's absurd that we have to keep telling people to get vaccinated, and that these statistics will fall on deaf ears.
LAST YEAR SAW A MAJOR SPIKE IN HATE CRIMES: The FBI issued its annual hate crimes report Aug. 30 and said it had tallied 7,759 incidents. But Ohio reported just 34 bias crimes, less than 10 percent of the previous year, which state officials now attribute to a technical glitch. The state’s new figures show that 580 hate crimes were reported last year, according to Bret Crow, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Public Safety, representing a 41 percent increase over 2019. The data would mean that the number of hate crimes across the country spiked by nearly 14 percent in 2020, with the increase driven largely by more attacks on people who are Black or Asian. In Ohio, crimes targeting Black people rose from 92 in 2019 to 129 last year, while attacks targeting Asians held roughly the same at 10, one fewer than the previous year. If confirmed by the FBI, the total number of hate crimes in 2020 would be the most since 2001, when the agency recorded 9,730 bias attacks across the country. That year, when al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four airplanes and attacked the World Trade Center and Pentagon on Sept. 11, the number of hate crimes against Muslims and businesses identified with the Islamic faith in the United States spiked from 28 in 2000 to 481 in 2001, a 17-fold increase. No doubt Trump's anti-China rhetoric contributed to this spike, which is even more infuriating when you consider the reason: Blaming the "China virus" was an effort to deflect attention from his own negligent behavior and "it will just go away" stupidity.