Friday News: Comrade Trump

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RUSSIAN MEDIA OUTLET RT SPENT HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS ON TWEETS DURING ELECTION: The disclosures are the first in what Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee has said appears to be the “tip of the iceberg” in Russia’s use of social media to carry out a broad cyber offensive aimed at helping Donald Trump win the White House. U.S. intelligence agencies said in a declassified report in January that Russia Today and Sputnik, another Russian broadcast outlet tied to the Kremlin, were central players in a propaganda attack aimed at damaging Trump’s heavily favored Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, in the race. The House and Senate Intelligence Committees and a Justice Department Special Counsel are conducting parallel investigations into the extent of the Russian operation and whether Trump’s presidential campaign may have collaborated with it.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/nation-world/national/article175979796.html

Senate race in Alabama epitome of good vs. evil

But it's also (very likely) a lost cause for Democrats:

Democrats have not seriously contested an Alabama Senate race since 1996, but they think they have a credible candidate in Doug Jones, a former U.S. attorney who successfully prosecuted members of the Ku Klux Klan who bombed a black church in Birmingham in 1963, killing four girls. Several progressive groups think they have a clearer shot at winning the general election in December than they would have if Sen. Luther Strange, the establishment candidate who lost resoundingly to Moore on Tuesday, had won.

Just to give you an idea of how steep this hill is to climb: The last Democratic Senator from Alabama is Richard Shelby, and that boll weevil flipped to Republican to keep his ass in office some 23 years ago. What's my point? When this effort does fail, before all the progressive purists start bashing the DSCC and the DNC (and probably when they get around to it Hillary for some reason), they need to take a step back and understand that some Red states are just impossible to crack:

White Supremacists cancel plans for Charlotte rally

Alternate headline: "The first snowflakes of the season melt before they land."

Thursday News: GenX nightmare continues

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CHEMOURS ORDERED TO SUPPLY BOTTLED WATER TO MORE LOCAL RESIDENTS: State regulators told the chemical company under fire for releasing GenX into the Cape Fear River to supply more nearby residents with bottled water after tests showed elevated levels of the unregulated chemical in their water. The state Department of Environmental Quality and Chemours, the chemical firm that spun off from DuPont in 2015, began testing residential wells near the company's Bladen County plant for GenX and other related fluorinated compounds earlier this month. That sampling has so far shown that 19 wells have concentrations of GenX in their water above the state's health threshold of 140 parts per trillion.
http://www.wral.com/eight-more-well-users-to-get-bottled-water-after-genx-tests/16978386/

Justice denied: New judicial maps decimate District and Superior Court judges

As usual, NC Policy Watch is right on top of this mess:

The team at NC Policy Watch thought it important to remove the blinders so that legislators will have a chance to make an informed decision on HB 717, and their constituents will have a chance to analyze the maps before deciding whether or not to show up for public comment. Accordingly, we have prepared the maps that appear below.

All three maps reflect the most up-to-date proposed districts in HB 717 (released at 11:58 p.m. Monday) – prosecutorial, district court and superior court – and indicate the districts in which all current incumbents would have to run for office based on their addresses of residence.

As I've mentioned before, I am not the most adept at evaluating redistricting maps. But you don't have to be a political topographer to know that when you see 2-3 blue dots within the same borders only one of those dots is going to survive. There will be a handful of Republican judges removed by this idiotic proposal, but (unless I'm reading it wrong) a couple of dozen Democratic judges swept out of the system. Aside from being a partisan pogrom, it will also cripple NC's Court system, which is already hard-pressed to handle its current caseload.

Coal Ash Wednesday: Forcing Duke Energy's hand on flood map disclosure

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Apparently their battalion of lawyers are already too busy to fight this:

Duke Energy last week said it would soon publish inundation maps and emergency contact information related to safety planning for coal ash storage facilities on its website, reversing its previous policy of not publishing the information.

Earthjustice had announced its intention to sue Duke Energy in Kentucky in order to compel the utility to disclose critical information the environmental group argued was required by federal law. While the utility company initially refused to release the information, it later released a statement saying it was "revisiting the issue" and had determined the data should be made available to the public.

I don't care if they claim a "burning bush" told them to release the information, as long as it gets published. Another issue they need to "revisit" is their continued knee-jerk reaction to releasing or admitting anything that might generate some bad PR. The constant framing and denialism does absolutely nothing to engender confidence in their professionalism or technical capabilities, it actually does the opposite. But reprogramming corporate drones is apparently not in their toolbox.

Wednesday News: ACA is safe, for now

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LATEST GOP EFFORT TO REPEAL AND REPLACE OBAMACARE FAILS TO GARNER SUFFICIENT VOTES: "Obamacare" lives on. Senate Republicans, short of votes, abandoned their latest and possibly final attempt to kill the health care law Tuesday, just ahead of a critical end-of-the-week deadline. The repeal-and-replace bill's authors promised to try again at a later date, while President Donald Trump railed against "certain so-called Republicans" who opposed the GOP effort. But for now, Trump and fellow Republicans who vowed for seven years to abolish President Barack Obama's law will leave it standing and turn their attention to overhauling the nation's tax code instead.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/national-politics/article175386271.html

Tuesday News: Repeal and replace Walker

EMBARRASSINGLY NAIVE NC CONGRESSMAN ISSUES OMINOUS WARNINGS TO COLLEAGUES: North Carolina Rep. Mark Walker, the chairman of the conservative House Republican Study Committee, plans to deliver a frank, firm message to fellow Republicans Tuesday: Time is running out to fulfill all those promises you made last year. Start acting fast, he’s expected tell a Capitol Hill press conference, of the party could face political trouble. “We haven’t fulfilled the very promises that we campaigned on two years ago, some longer than that,” Walker said. He predicted that it could be “catastrophic for Republicans in Congress” if the party doesn’t make good on some of its campaign promises.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article175365936.html

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Here we go again:

He doesn't know it yet, but there's a special place in hell for Justin Burr.

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