Please. STOP.

Last week I received a dozen or so fundraising emails and texts, several from newly elected officials. I'd hoped these emails would reflect a change in communications strategy from the tired old drumbeat, but that was not the case. What I got was worse than the same-old same-old: consultant-driven emails without the slightest evidence of donor awareness. Here are two examples:

Are you still with us? We need your gift before midnight in order to make our fourth quarter goal!

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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THE JAN 6 REPORT'S KEY FINDING: TRUMP ENABLED MILITIA GROUPS: First and foremost, the report busts a myth promoted by right-wing apologists that because some insurrectionists began the assault on the Capitol before Trump concluded his “Stop the Steal” speech, he was not the inspiration for the attack. Wrong. Chapter 6 details the degree to which members of extremist groups (e.g., Oath Keepers, Proud Boys, Three Percenters) seized upon Trump’s “big lie” of a stolen election. They heard his call to come to D.C. and believed he wanted them to do what was needed to keep him in power. The Proud Boys planned to move ahead of the crowd, which later — at Trump’s instruction — followed them down Pennsylvania Avenue. In Chapter 8, the report details the early removal of barricades at the Peace Circle by the Proud Boys and their associates. That cleared the way for thousands of protesters to move down Pennsylvania Avenue directly to the Capitol. That provides evidence of the meticulous preparation that went into the assault. Moreover, several people in Trump’s inner circle were intimately involved with the insurrectionists. This includes former White House advisers Stephen K. Bannon and Michael Flynn and Trump’s longtime confidant Roger Stone. These individuals met with members of extremist groups, encouraged them to act and amplified their message. Bannon, of course, had a direct line to the president. (The committee reports that the two communicated on Jan. 5.) Trump was also in regular contact with Stone. The report does not connect Trump to the armed insurrectionists directly, but it gets alarmingly close. This was a genuine conspiracy (unlike wacky QANON bullshit), an effort to engineer a coup to allow Trump to remain in power. In virtually any other country, the leader of such an effort would be in jail. But here we are two years later, watching this idiot plan for another campaign.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/12/23/jan-6-report-trump-right-wing-extremism/

Partisan "news" outlets will not save local journalism

The loss of objectivity cannot be reclaimed:

The North Shore Leader wrote in September, when few others were covering Santos, about his “inexplicable rise” in reported net worth, from essentially nothing in 2020 to as much as $11 million two years later.

The story noted other oddities about the self-described gay Trump supporter with Jewish heritage, who would go on to flip New York’s 3rd Congressional District from blue to red, and is now under investigation by authorities for misrepresenting his background to voters.

Theoretically speaking, such coverage within the District itself, should have provided voters the information they need to make a sound decision. But there's a problem: the paper in question has a solidly conservative bent, which means two things: Their "loyal" readership leans so heavily Republican that those revelations fell on deaf ears, and that obvious lack of objectivity made it much less likely their reporting would attract the attention of state-level (or national) news outlets that would have reached all the voters in the District. Here's more on what their loyal readers chose to ignore:

WRAL Drops the Ball on NC GOP TikTok Panic Story

WRAL has a report out this morning that state representative Republican leaders Jason Saine and Jon Hardister have their underwear in a tangle about TikTok, calling on Governor Cooper to ban the social media app from state-owned devices, calling it a “matter of national security”. They say if Cooper doesn’t act, they move to create a law with such a ban next year.

Cooper spokesman Jordan Monaghan said the state is "constantly updating guidance to ensure cyber security and is reviewing state government use of TikTok and considering potential additional safety measures."

TikTok's media relations office didn't immediately respond to a request for comment sent through the company's website.

WRAL isn’t quite giving you all the background on this story, however.

Hump-Day Handouts

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NC's energy future is being decided right now:

Governor Roy Cooper and Republican state lawmakers made a historic deal last year to cut greenhouse gas emissions from power generation by 70 percent by 2030 and all the way to carbon neutral by 2050. They left the details of how to get there up to the state utilities commission. We’re expecting to see their final decision this week.

Currently, North Carolina is dependent on coal, natural gas and nuclear power for our electricity. The Carbon plan will set out the rules for Duke Energy for moving to greener energy sources like solar, wind and battery storage. As it shuts down its coal fired plants, Duke wants to build more natural gas plants. It says they’re needed for reliable baseload power generation. Critics say more gas plants are not needed. They say battery storage for wind and solar can serve that need.

Couple things to consider: Solar is scalable and dispersed, meaning you can locate farms in areas that are far away from big generation facilities and save a ton of juice that gets lost in transmission (like 17% in some areas). These recent rolling blackouts would not have been necessary, at least not as widespread as they were. Speaking of brownouts, our former Liar-In-Chief has left a legacy in his wake:

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