Breaking: Court rules NC Congressional maps be redrawn by the end of January

Cannabis won't be on the ballot, but it may define the 2018 elections

National polling shows growing support for marijuana legalization, with 64 percent of Americans now in favor of it. Support has increased by 14 points since 2011, and even 51 percent of Republicans say medical marijuana should be made legal.

Tuesday News: We've been hacked

OVER HALF OF NC'S POPULATION HAD PERSONAL DATA STOLEN IN VARIOUS DATABASE BREACHES: “This number is staggering and unacceptable,” Stein said. Mecklenburg County was the victim of a ransomware attack last month. Hackers demanded $23,000 in bitcoin to release the county's data, but county officials had backups of the information and did not pay. Duke Energy also recently announced a potential breach of more than 300,000 customers' billing information. Uber recently acknowledged a massive data breach, but it took the company more than a year to let its customers know. “That is certainly not a reasonable time frame to let someone know that their information has been breached,” Saine said. “We've looked at practices all across the United States and what different states are doing, and we'll certainly combine that into the bill.” Stein said scams and cyber attacks spiked in 2017. The most commonly stolen information includes full names, dates of birth and Social Security, driver license, and credit card numbers.

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Schools are crunching their budget numbers right now because of this poorly thought-out move:

Just a heads-up, at 4 p.m. today, use the hashtag #ClassSizeChaos and make your opinion known on Twitter.

Treasurer Dale Folwell giddy over ALEC endorsement


Birds of a feather screw over state employees together:

A recent American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) report named North Carolina’s retirement plans among the top four state-administered public pension plans for the year in terms of transparency. ALEC recognized the state, along with Kentucky, Nebraska and Montana, for transparency in the administration and reporting on the ongoing status of the North Carolina Total Retirement Plans. The report, Unaffordable and Unaccountable 2017, highlights the importance of transparency in public pension plans, noting that transparency in financial reporting enables the public to access the information needed to make informed decisions.

Of the report State Treasurer Dale Folwell said, “I’m proud of the work our team is doing to ensure the health and integrity of the funds we’re responsible for managing. Part of that good work is being open and transparent about what we’re doing to keep the pension promise made by our state to the public servants in North Carolina.”

Bolding mine, because that's all you really need to know about ALEC's motivations when it comes to public pensions. Their overriding goal in this area is to make a massive shift in the way state employee retirement plans are funded, and that shift (of course) means forcing those employees to pay for their own pensions like private-sector workers do in most cases:

Monday News: Fire and Fury


TRUMP AND HIS SUPPORTERS ENRAGED OVER NEW TELL-ALL BOOK: Michael Wolff's "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House" portrays the 45th president as a leader who doesn't understand the weight of his office and whose competence is questioned by aides. That picture, said Miller, "is so contrary to reality, to the experience of those who work with him." Miller also criticized Trump's former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, who is quoted at length by Wolff, saying it was "tragic and unfortunate" that Bannon "would make these grotesque comments so out of touch with reality and obviously so vindictive." Bannon's description of a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower in New York between Donald Trump Jr., Trump campaign aides and a Russian lawyer as "treasonous" and "unpatriotic" particularly infuriated Trump, who released a seething statement accusing Bannon of having "lost his mind."

Life may not be fair, but government should be

Phil Berger and Tim Moore want to control all three branches of government in North Carolina, and they’re working to make that happen. The first branch in their crosshairs was the executive, where they’ve been trying to hobble Governor Cooper. Some of their actions have already been judged unconstitutional, others will be.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


BURR'S COMMITTEE NEEDS TO ADDRESS RUSSIA'S MEDDLING IN U.S. POLITICS: North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr leads the Senate Intelligence Committee and its investigation into what role, if any, international meddling may have played in the outcome of the 2016 presidential campaign. He’s acknowledged that President Trump has strongly urged him to wrap up the committee’s probe. Additionally, Burr recently told reporters he wanted to wrap up the investigation early this year – and hasn’t decided what the committee would do – put together a report or simply make public much of the information the committee gathered. “The important aspect is: Can we lay the facts down so the American people can come to their own conclusion?” Burr said. Questions about whether Trump or his campaign knew of the Russian efforts in 2016 or even more so, if they aided in them, should be thoroughly examined. But those matters are separate from the more basic concern. Questions of international interference in our electoral process are serious. They are not partisan and should not be dismissed as the 2018 elections open.

Wilmington Mayor concerned about GenX, not sure water is safe to drink

Caught between a rock and a hard place:

“People ask me constantly, ‘Is the water safe to drink?’” former Wilmington Mayor Harper Peterson told lawmakers during a hearing on water pollution. “And I can’t answer that. I take a precautionary approach, and I think we all should. I think we shouldn’t be drinking the water.”

Wilmington is downstream of the Fayetteville Works plant run by Chemours (formerly by DuPont), which has for years been discharging a chemical called GenX into the Cape Fear River that serves as the main source of drinking water for southeastern North Carolina. Chemours and DuPont split a $670 million settlement earlier this year over health complaints from people exposed to a chemical similar in makeup to GenX, called C8. The companies have said GenX is safer; no public studies have so far linked it to serious health risks in humans, although it is largely untested aside from some experiments on lab animals that have linked it to health problems.

I can't imagine the pressure he's under. There's over 117,000 people relying on that water, and that's just those inside the City limits. The number's probably considerably higher. It takes a cast-iron set to make the statement he did, and of course some people are not happy with him saying it:


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