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We are deeply saddened by the tragic events in Nice, France.  May hope, open hearts, and compassion unite us.

INTERNATIONAL
Rejoice in women’s leadership around the globe!

“Consider this: within six months, by the end of January when the next US president is sworn in, it is highly likely that three of the world’s top five economies will be run by women, at a time when women also head the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and chair the US Federal Reserve.  It will be powerful and it will be unprecedented.”  http://www.smh.com.au/comment/the-last-frontier-for-women-in-power-is-finally-in-sight-20160707-gq11ic.html  Thank you, Mary, for sharing this article from the Sydney (Australia) Morning Herald with us.

NATIONAL 
As many of you may be aware, I have a deep personal admiration for Justice Ginsberg.  Her recent remarks about Trump ignited a controversy about what we as citizens should expect from our SCOTUS members.  What do you think?  Was she out of bounds with her remarks or not?
Here are two well written articles, each reflecting a different side to the controversy. Personally, I give my support to the piece authored by two individuals who clerked for Justice RBG.
http://wpo.st/owJm1
http://wpo.st/J9Pm1

As we consider our presumed Presidential candidates, the tragedy in Nice and the unrest in Turkey highlight the need for a commander-in-chief who can understand the best strategy for dealing with our place in the world as well as how to communicate that strategy in action and in communication to the American people.  Kathleen Parker, Washington Post columnist, posited today that the question may not be “Who will keep us safe” but “Who will not make it worse.”

She concludes:”The choice is not as simple as it may seem.
Words and policies are only part of the equation. Temperament and character are paramount, as is wisdom based on experience.  In the war on terrorism, our arsenal isn’t only bullets, bombs and drones. Fighting an idea requires greater skills than a sniper’s eye. You also have to counter the ideas that attract terrorists to an absurd and deadly cause with better ones.  The slog we were warned against long ago is our reality for now and perhaps for generations. We’d best hire a commander in chief who also understands this — and who can rally the troops starting on Day One.”

NORTH CAROLINA
I know many of you have written Burr & Tillis regarding judicial appointments that have been held up for purely partisan reasons.  Perhaps instead of a directive letter, we should be sending Tillis his job description!  According to the Policy Watch, Tillis, who serves on the US Senate Judiciary Committee, is quoted as saying confirming judges has “nothing to do with our jobs.”  Let’s hope he reads up on the US Constitution.  Rob Schofield notes:  “The bottom line: Tillis and his blockading conservative colleagues are simply not doing their jobs in 2016 when it comes to their constitutional duty to advise and consent on judicial nominations (including the nomination of the eminently qualified Merrick Garland to serve on the Supreme Court) and it’s simply an embarrassment.” – See more at: http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2016/07/14/tillis-confirming-judges-has-nothing-to-do-with-doing-our-jobs/#sthash.XwdVlEFG.dpuf
WAKE COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS
Comments posted by Wake County BOD member, Mark Ezzell on July 13 at 7:45pm

“Tonight, a majority of the Wake County Board of Elections voted to seek en banc review of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals decision regarding School Board and County Commission districts.

A minority of the Wake Board disagreed. Vehemently.

I disagreed for three reasons. First, I believe Judge Wynn’s decision was the correct one. It’s is abundantly clear that the General Assembly’s districts were the result of illegitimate reapportionment considerations.

Second, keeping this thing going is an absolute waste of Wake County taxpayer money and further confuses a supremely confusing election season. This does a great disservice to county voters and, once the total bill comes due, all Wake County taxpayers. More appeals mean more confusion.

Finally, not appealing would have forced the rightful defendant in this case, the General Assembly, to take responsibility for their actions. Wake County Board of Elections was never a logical sole defendant in this case. If the Legislature believes so strongly in their maps they should pony up the money to take legal steps to reenter to case. Instead, tonight’s decision further enables the legislature’s compulsive meddling in local districts by allowing them to create these legal messes for local boards to clean up- at local expense.

Now, lest you start believing the Wake County Board has gone “partisan rogue” like some other counties, note that this is the first time in two years that a vote of the Wake BOE has fallen on partisan lines. We just unanimously approved early voting at NCSU and at Chavis, and we approved Sunday early voting as well. So our track record is pretty good, comparatively. Maybe that’s why this one bothers me so much. My first obligation is to the voters of Wake County, and we didn’t do them any favors tonight.”

For more details read this article from the News & Observer:  http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article89603152.html

We ask that Politicas take two actions:  1)  contact Mark Ezzell and thank him for his service, passion, and tenacious work on behalf of the folks of Wake County; and 2) contact the other two members of the Wake County BOE and let them know you (vehemently) disagree with their decision and ask that they reconsider their actions.
Mark Ezzell ezzellwboe@gmail.com
Ellis Boyle boylewboe@gmail.com (Secretary)
Brian Ratledge  ratledgewboe@gmail.com (Chair)

 

FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION

With Obama, the Personal Is Presidential
As we contemplate the “character” critical for a President to possess, I think we can agree that Obama has been nothing if not the picture of elegance, class, and grace.
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/15/opinion/with-obama-the-personal-is-presidential.html?mwrsm=Email

Remembering Sandra Bland’s Death in the Place I Call Home
Can it be that the case of Sandra Bland was but a year ago?  With all the violence we’ve seen in our country in the year since she was found dead in her jail cell, this personal piece offers deep insight.
http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/remembering-sandra-blands-death-in-the-place-i-call-home 
Thank you, Lynn, for sharing this with us.