Tuesday, August 8, 2017


by Cash Michaels

DEMOCRATS LOOK TO 2018 - Believe it or not, we’re already in the throes of Election 2018,
even though many of us are still recovering from the election debacle of 2016. It’s funny how the guy who
is responsible for everyone’s collective headache is on a 17-day vacation at one of his swank golf resorts 
after just over six months on the job (with little to show for it besides a whole lot of grief), and yet it’s quite
clear that the rest of us are the ones who really need the time off.
So it’s in this atmosphere that the Democratic Party prepares for the 2018 mid-term elections next 
By all accounts, given the disastrous track record thus far of Republican leaders in Congress (which 
has a lowly eleven percent approval rating ) and their president (whose poll numbers are in the low 30’s and 
steadily dropping), 2018 should be a drop in the bucket for Democrats, given the tremendous turmoil we see 
in Washington, DC on a daily basis with investigation on top of investigation of the Trump 
Administration (if you want to call it that) and the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with the Russian
government to win the 2016 presidential election. 
Winning in 2018 should be a lead pipe cinch for Democrats….but it’s not. Apparently folks aren’t
feeling Democrats that much because, many analysts say, no one can us what Democrats are for.
Don’t get me wrong…there’s no question that Dems are against Trump. Heck, there are even some
Republicans at long last, who are also, finally, against that racist loudmouth from New York. But the GOP has
It’s base of supporters so psyched out, all they had to say they’re against Hillary and Obama, and for lower 
taxes, and voila, they make. horse race out of any and every race.
Dems don’t have it so good. Regardless how bad Trump and the GOP are doing, Democrats have the
hardest time convincing white working class and African-Americans that they can do any better. And that’s
because Republicans have done such a bang-up job convincing white working class folks that black people 
have more rights than they do, and if Democrats get back in control, it will only get worse.
Yes, it basically boils down to unsubstantiated race envy, primarily because the economy hasn’t 
worked out too well for the average Joe and Mary six-pack. The super-rich, hey, even the not-so-super rich, 
are doing quite fine, thank you. But the average lower middle-class white person is struggling, and resents it,
and is consistently told by the Republican Party that it’s the Democrats’ fault, and if they get back into power,
they’ll just pick up where Barack Obama left off.
Meanwhile, on the flip side, African-Americans apparently didn’t show up in Obama-style numbers in 
the 2016 elections, and many are now concerned that unless Democrats can show some definite outreach to
the most loyal base in the Democratic Party, more and more black voters just may re-register as independents,
assuming they decide to vote at all.
So Dems in 2018 have to figure out how to win back the white working class voters Trump won with, 
but also convince African-Americans that their wishlist for better jobs, affordable housing, improved education,
affordable health care, fairer law enforcement….and the list goes on, will also receive full respect and better focus.
Thus far, I’m not seeing very many signs that Democrats are prepared to do that.
Add the wild-card Bernie Sanders faction factor, which further splits the Democratic Party, and you have 
yourself a mess.
So Dems, unless you can pull it together (and stop blaming Nancy Pelosi for everything), you will be 
kissing 2018 goodbye. And 2020 too, while we’re at it. Because believe it or not, Republicans can survive this
Trump fiasco if they play their cards right. All they have to do is keep Democrats off balance like they always do.
Dems have to finally realize that they are in a real war for the soul and future of this nation, and the world. 
You can be both decent and tough to win. For some reason, Democrats don’t believe that.
Better start, before it’s too late.

By Cash Michaels
Contributing writer

If NC Republican Party Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse set out to deliberately stirrup a hornet’s nest
of controversy and criticism with his latest racial remarks, he’s succeeded. With no less than the chairman of the 
NC Democratic Party calling Woodhouse “unhinged,” Democrats and activists literally lined up Monday to blast 
the unabashedly partisan Woodhouse for stating in a series of tweets Sunday that Democrats “murdered blacks” in the port city of Wilmington during the Nov. 10, 1898 Wilmington Race Massacre, when white supremacists
attacked and kill black people, sowing the seeds of the racist Jim Crow era that would last at least a century after.
Woodhouse reliably trolls the Democratic Party every chance he gets, but this time, critics say, he’s gone too far.
It all started when the NC Democratic Party sent out a tweet Sunday acknowledging August 6th as the 52nd anniversary of 
the 1965 Voting Rights Act, the landmark federal legislation that outlawed racial discrimination in voting.
“On this anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, let’s celebrate how far we’ve come but remember that we must
fight to keep moving forward,” stated the NCDP tweet. Accompanying the message was a picture of former President Barack Obama with his family, marching across the Edmund Pettus Bridge two years ago to mark the 50th anniversary of the historic civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala.
The NCDP tweet included the famous quote from former civil rights activist John Lewis, now a US congressman from Georgia. “If you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have a moral obligation to do something about it.”
Then, Woodhouse, for whatever reason, decided to respond to the NCDP tweet with, “From the party that
ran a racist campaign of murder and closed the polls to blacks who were Republicans, gaining power for 100 years.”
In subsequent tweets, the NCGOP executive director continued, “After they murdered blacks in
Wilmington [the NC Democratic Party] passed what they call the White Declaration of Independence. The 
Wilmington Riot of 1898 was not an act of spontaneous violence. The events of Nov. 10, 1898 were a result of the
long-range campaign strategy by Democratic Party leaders to regain political control of Wilmington - at that time
[the] state’s most populous city - and North Carolina in the name of white supremacy.”
For the most part, the facts that Woodhouse stated are not wrong, though he admitted in a subsequent 
interview that he actually got them from Wikipedia. But Democrats, and others, blasted Woodhouse for essential information he apparently left out to leave the impression that the Democratic Party is still ruled by white supremacists, and that Republicans are a much better political fit for African-Americans today.
Indeed, until the 1960s, blacks were primarily members of the Republican Party because historically, it was
the party of President Abraham Lincoln, known for freeing the slaves. Blacks shifted to Democrats with the election of President John F. Kennedy.
Woodhouse's statement failed to mention that the North Carolina General Assembly and the N. C. Democratic Party did issue formal apologies (in 2007) for the massacre and the resulting official oppression which was imposed upon African Americans in this state from 1898 until 1970,” says NC NAACP Legal Redress Committee Chairman Irving Joyner, who also served as a co-chairman of the 1898 Wilmington Race Riots Commission, which researched the incident, and issued a report in 2007. 
      “Those apologies did not rectify nor compensate for the many deaths and destruction which African Americans experienced, but they did acknowledge that a terrible wrong did occur to our people and to every North Carolina citizen,” Joyner added.
Woodhouse apparently also forgot that it was a Republican - then state House Rep. Thom Tillis  (now a US senator) - who actively opposed the official apology from the Democrat-led NC General Assembly, telling his constituents in a letter, “It’s time to move on.”
Rep. Deb Butler, a District 18 Democrat representing Brunswick/New Hanover counties, was blunt about the thinly veiled NCGOP rhetorical attempt.
“The suggestion that the North Carolina Democratic Party is harmful to African Americans is perfectly ludicrous,” she said. “One need look no further than the current composition of the North Carolina House of Representatives to see that not ONE person of color serves from the NCGOP.”
Rep. Butler continued,  “Democrats in NC today embrace diversity in every way. That side of the aisle mirrors Trump's cabinet and it is entirely homogeneous. That's their loss and shame on [Woodhouse] for his laughable assertion otherwise.”
After saying in a statement that, “This is unhinged even for the NC GOP, a party that is desperate to hide three words: illegal racial gerrymander,” NC Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Goodman continued, “Republicans …are targeting African-American voters with ‘surgical precision’ [with voter suppression], and would rather attack Democrats than work to protect voting rights for the black
State Sen. Paul Lowe (D-Forsyth) agreed.
“Since the 1960’s the Democratic Party has been more sensitive to the issues and concerns of people of color, women and the poor. At this time, the Republican Party doesn’t seem to be offering a moderate or progressive agenda that will serve all the people of this state.”
However, Rep. Ed Hanes, Jr. (D-District 72), feels that neither Republicans or Democrats have been completely just in their treatment of African-Americans. “It's difficult to howl about  the ills of the Republican party, however, when racism and social division persists within the Democratic Party.  Is it better?  Yes, without doubt,” Hanes said, but later adding,”We're a party divided very similarly to how our nation is divided.”  
  “The Republicans know and exploit it!,” Rep. Hanes concluded.
  And NCNAACP Legal Redress Chair Irv Joyner summed up reaction to Woodhouse’s controversial tweet with, “While I am cognizant that Woodhouse is aware of the past sordid history of the Democratic Party, I bemoan his failure to recognize and acknowledge the racial harm that the present day Republican leadership is attempting to inflict upon African Americans and racial minorities today.”
For his part, NC GOP Executive Director Woodhouse told a local Raleigh television station Monday that he was  “tired of being lectured to by people with a murderous, violent history."
Several Republican lawmakers were contacted for comment for this story. Only one responded, Rep. Donny Lambeth, and that was only to say that he was away on vacation with his family this week.


by Cash Michaels
contributing writer

What kind of legislative voting district maps will the Republican leadership of the NC 
General Assembly come up with by Sept. 1st, and what’s behind a new House bill designed to 
redistrict state judges? Those are two of the pressing questions hovering over state lawmakers
as many gathered for the third Joint Select Committee on Redistricting today to further consider 
criteria for new voting maps ordered by a three-judge US District Court panel two weeks ago.
Democrats, and members of the general public, during a legislative hearing last week, 
made it clear that they want an above-board process, free of racial (as ordered by the US 
Supreme Court and partisan gerrymandering. Today’s committee meeting was scheduled to focus 
adopting the criteria to determine what the revamped maps should look like once redrawn.
Democrats are concerned about the process because GOP legislative leaders have rehired 
Thomas Hofeller, who drew the 2011 maps that the US High Court recently ruled were illegal because 
28 North Carolina districts were racially gerrymandered.
“That doesn’t do much to restore people’s trust in the process,” said Senate Minority Leader Dan Blue.
At an August 2nd press conference, Sen. Ben Clark (D- Cumberland), offered criteria that he 
and Senate Democratic leadership felt should definitely be considered in the mix, including partisan 
advantage in redrawing the districts; no splitting of voting districts (except when necessary to comply
with zero deviation population requirements; and ensuring the none of the nine Senate districts and 
19 House districts deemed as unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court shall have a total black voting 
age population higher than that which existed in those enacted NC legislative districts that were in 
effect in 2010.
In other words, Republican mapmakers can’t “stack-and-pack” more black voters into districts
than there were prior to 2011 redistricting plan.
In response to the three-judge panel’s directive, Republican legislative leaders vowed to have 
one day of statewide public hearings on the new maps once they’re drawn, though they haven’t said when.
They’ve circled Aug. 24th as the date the legislature will vote on the maps.
Sept. 1st is the court-imposed deadline for the legislature to submit the new maps, along with any
supporting documentation, competing maps, and public testimony to the three-judge panel for review. 
Lawmakers are given the liberty of extending that deadline to Sept. 15th if they need more time.
Ultimate the federal court wants the new maps in hand, reviewed and approved long before 
November, which is when Republican legislative leaders originally hoped to stretch the deadline out to.
Meanwhile the NC NAACP rallied across from the Legislative Building Tuesday, “…to demand 
an illegal N.C. General Assembly to cease any new legislative action until new legislative elections
are held on the basis of an electoral map that complies with the Constitution.
“The current leadership of the General Assembly was unconstitutionally empowered for the 
last three election cycles based on its own maneuvering to pass anti-Black, anti-Immigration- anti-gay, 
anti- healthcare anti-poor-people, anti- women, anti- workers, anti-democracy discriminatory
redistricting maps,” said NCNAACP Pres. Bishop William Barber in a statement. “It gained that power 
through a perversion of the Voting Rights Act and then abused its ill-gotten power at every turn. 
With the special legislative session reconvening on Friday, August 18th, there are rising concerns
about House Bill 717 titled, “ Revise Judicial Districts.” 
“I am extremely concerned about HB717 judicial maps that force district court judges of the same political
[party] to compete in a primary,” stated Rep. Evelyn Terry (D-Forsyth). That equates to worse. It’s called double-
Thus far, HB717 has not been debated on the House floor.



[WILMINGTON] The NC Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)
and the NC Dept. of Health and Human Services (DHHS) are asking legislative
leaders for $2.6 million to monitor the level of Gen X chemical contamination
in the Cape Fear River for the next year, and determine what health impacts it
may have on those who drink the water. The Cape Fear is a primary source of 
drinking water for Wilmington and surrounding areas. The Gen X chemical was 
found in the Cape Fear in June after it had been routinely discharged from a manufacturing 
plant. Gov. Cooper ordered that that plant no longer is granted a permit for
further discharges. DEQ says it needs more resources to deploy adequate staff to 
monitor water quality. DHHS will hire experts in determining if there are any health
issues associated with ingesting Gen X, and how to counter them.

[RALEIGH] Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper has no intention of allowing the Republican-led
NC legislature to take anymore of his constitutional powers away from him, which is why he expanded a 
current lawsuit he’s previously filed to stop them. Cooper is contending that several portions of the new state 
budget he’s vetoed are unconstitutional, even though state lawmakers overrode the governor’s veto in June. In 
his suit, the governor objects to the legislature ordering his budget director to increase funding to a particular
program; assuming authority over federal block grant spending; and assuming authority over settlement money
coming to the state which the governor normally oversees. Senate President Pro tem Phil Berger responded to 
Cooper’s new filings, saying,”We expect the judiciary will see through his thinly-veiled power grab, follow 
the constitution and dismiss this frivolous lawsuit." 

[RALEIGH] Wake County has now joined several other areas of the state where alcohol can be sold at
10 a.m. on Sunday mornings, instead of 12 noon as it had been previously. By a 6-1 vote, the county joined Durham, 
Chapel Hill and other municipalities across the state, thanks to a new state law passed by the legislature in June.
Local governments had to permission before beginning. This is the second vote Wake County had to take in order 
to authorize liquor sales.


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