Governor Cooper asks Trump to back off on tariffs

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Defending those NC farmers and producers at risk of economic collapse:

Cooper wrote a letter Thursday to the president telling him retaliatory tariffs against U.S. products by other countries resulting from the administration's increases stand to harm several North Carolina commodity exports.

Cooper mentioned specifically pork heading to Mexico and China and tobacco going to Turkey, China and the European Union. He says North Carolina exports of these products alone to the affected regions are $550 million annually. The governor says rising prices for all U.S. steel and aluminum also increases costs for anyone who uses them in their production processes.

Roy shouldn't have to do this, because this trade war Trump has gleefully engaged in is not a partisan issue. Congress could (easily) pass Veto-proof legislation to halt or limit this activity, but Ryan and McConnell are simply not responsible enough to take the proper steps. Here's more from Roy on what's at stake:

Friday News: A chip off the ol' block

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JUNIOR BERGER FAILED TO DISCLOSE INTERNET GAMBLING DONORS: A campaign finance complaint filed against N.C. Court of Appeals Judge Phil Berger Jr. says he failed to disclose who paid for food, drinks and other expenses at his 2016 campaign fundraisers. The complaint also says Berger — whose father is Senate leader Phil Berger — listed two donors as alpaca farmers instead of gambling business owners, and that several of the people listed as donors in his disclosure reports say they didn’t contribute. Hall’s complaint alleges that while serving as DA, Berger told police to “hold off” going after the (gambling) parlors. Berger was not the DA at the time of the campaign donation and was serving as an administrative law judge during his 2016 campaign. After retiring from Democracy NC, Hall now describes himself as an “independent campaign finance watchdog” and said he expects to file other complaints with the elections board this year.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article215201205.html

NCDP weighs in AGAINST ALL AMENDMENTS

PROTECT OUR CONSTITUTION, VOTE “AGAINST” ALL CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS

The legislature is running roughshod over our constitution, pushing through new measures to restrict voting, undermine our separation of powers, and nickel and dime consumers. These are unprecedented, unnecessary, politically-driven, and hurt our state. Many are nothing more than a “blank-check” to allow partisan politicians to do as they please.

North Carolina Must Stand Against These Attacks on Our Constitution and Vote “Against.”

Counterpoint: LGBTQ-friendly companies should *not* boycott states like North Carolina

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Locating here might be just what the doctor ordered:

In my late 20s, I followed a Sapphic North Star to Seattle, one of the nation’s most progressive cities. There, I met my wife at a coffee shop in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, where we would later share our first home together. We were represented by a gay mayor and two gay state legislators, while benefiting from robust statewide nondiscrimination protections—a lucky situation we only occasionally thought about.

Safeguards like these are far too rare for far too many. Only 44 percent of all LGBTQ people nationwide have these same guarantees today, and none of them live in the South—where we now live, in North Carolina. Here, we and all LGBTQ people are keenly aware of the potential vulnerabilities we face in the eyes of employers, landlords, and others. With the differing experiences of Washington and North Carolina in mind, it’s clear what is and is not useful in advancing equality nationwide—and ill-considered corporate relocation boycotts are definitely in the latter category.

I recently got into a pointless argument with somebody who basically said, "If you're a straight white male you should STFU and let marginalized people lead the discussion." And I get most of that. But I also know if I don't speak out in certain venues and media (like this one), the issues won't be addressed at all, or at best very infrequently. With that said, the opinion expressed above has been on my mind for some time also. The thing about boycotts is, they "isolate." The intention to isolate a state as punishment for discriminatory practices, in order to generate a loss of commerce, seems like a valid approach. Hurt 'em in their wallets, as it were. But that isolation comes at a cost to the LGBTQ folks who could have found employment and solidarity working at these companies. And those opportunities are desperately needed here in the South:

Thursday News: Feet to the fire

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AD BLITZ GOES AFTER GEORGE HOLDING FOR HEALTHCARE VOTES: The midterm election is still almost four months off, but a television ad war has already started between Republican 2nd District Congressman George Holding and an outside group over health care. Holding has spent nearly $200,000 dollars on ads since May to answer ads by a group called North Carolinians for a Fair Economy that criticize his votes on health coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. "I think he's running scared. I think he's really feeling vulnerable," said Paula Wolf, who is with North Carolinians for a Fair Economy. Wolf wouldn't say who's funding the group, which has spent almost as much on ads as Holding. But she said the nonprofit, which can only advocate on issues and not endorse a particular candidate, is in compliance with all federal laws.
https://www.wral.com/campaign-ads-already-cranking-up-in-one-congressional-race/17707166/

Larken Egleston taking heat over his support of RNC2020

It comes with the territory, dude:

Egleston has been bombarded on social media with expletives and threats after he voted in favor of approving tentative contracts with the Republican National Committee and the local host committee. The council’s 6-5 vote paves the way for the RNC to award Charlotte the convention. City leaders expect the RNC site selection committee to back Charlotte Wednesday morning.

“I would be doing a lot better without the internet,” Egleston said Tuesday morning in an interview, a reference to the deluge of criticism he has received by email, Twitter and Facebook.

I find that Internet comment somewhere between fascinating and hilarious, since avoiding social media and other forms of 21st Century communications is exactly what he (falsely) accused his Democratic opponent of in the Primary Election:

Trump wouldn't be able to be Trump without Burr and Tillis

As an observer of North Carolina’s political landscape for many years, I find myself baffled by our two United States Senators. For all their bluster and public relations efforts, neither has done much for our state. Both have undermined the reputation of our country.

For his part, Richard Burr has the enjoyed the benefit of low expectations. Ever since he famously encouraged his wife to run to the ATM on the eve of the 2008 economic meltdown, it’s been clear that Burr’s only interest is self-interest.

Wednesday News: Inherently biased

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LAWSUIT FILED OVER DEATH PENALTY CASES THAT EXCLUDED BLACK JURORS: In a friend-of-the-court brief, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund cited statistical evidence of racial discrimination by Cumberland County prosecutors, who dismissed more than half of all eligible black jurors compared to a quarter of all others. This bias "unquestionably tainted" the sentencing process, lawyers argued. "The continuing stain of racial discrimination not only invalidates the death sentences imposed on these defendants, but it also undermines public confidence in North Carolina’s judicial system as a whole," Jin Hee Lee, LDF senior deputy director of litigation, said in a press release. "The Court must be unequivocal in rejecting racial bias in North Carolina juries, especially in death penalty cases, by giving the defendants a chance to challenge the discrimination they faced."
https://www.wral.com/civil-rights-group-says-state-supreme-court-must-address-bias-in-death-penalty-...

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