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Thursday News: Neocon convention?

JOHN BOLTON FEATURED SPEAKER AT DUKE ON FEB 17: According to a news release issued by the university on Wednesday, Bolton will talk about current threats to national security at a speech that will begin at 5:30 p.m. in Page Auditorium on the Duke campus. Bolton will be the spring 2020 Ambassador Dave and Kay Phillips Family International Lecturer, appearing as part of the Duke Program in American Grand Strategy. On Sunday, the New York Times released information about Bolton’s upcoming book, “The Room Where It Happened,” in which he claims that Trump told him he wanted U.S. aid to Ukraine held up until the nation agreed to investigate Trump’s Democratic political rivals. On Wednesday, Trump sent repeated tweets criticizing Bolton and his “nasty & untrue book.” “Frankly, if I listened to him, we would be in World War Six by now,” Trump tweeted.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/education/article239759513.html

Wednesday News: Causality

NC'S BLACK BABIES ARE DYING IN THE ABSENCE OF MEDICAID EXPANSION: Deaths of African-American babies declined most quickly in states that expanded Medicaid coverage, researchers have found. North Carolina isn’t one of those states. More than 15% of North Carolina women ages 19-44 don’t have health insurance, 10th most among states, according to the United Health Foundation. North Carolina is one of 14 states that has not adopted Medicaid expansion as allowed by the Obama-era Affordable Care Act. States that expanded Medicaid, which allowed more low-income adults to have health insurance, also had greater overall declines in infant death rates, said a 2018 study published in the American Journal of Public Health. Those improved rates were driven by declines in black babies’ deaths.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article239501218.html

Tuesday News: Prejudiced Juror

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TILLIS COVERS HIS EARS AND SAYS, "LA LA LA, LA LA LA": Sen. Thom Tillis said a new account from former Trump administration official John Bolton “hasn’t affected my decision” on whether he will vote to call witnesses in the Senate’s impeachment trial. The Republican senator from North Carolina has said he would probably oppose calling witnesses. Tillis has also said he plans to vote to acquit President Donald Trump, something he made clear even before the Democrat-controlled House impeached Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Democrats want to call Bolton to testify about his time as Trump’s national security adviser and specifically about how the president handled aid to Ukraine. In an unpublished manuscript described in a New York Times story Sunday, Bolton says Trump told him he wanted to continue withholding the security aid until Ukraine turned over material related to his political rivals Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article239681818.html

Monday News: Suffragette City

WOMEN MARCH ON RALEIGH WITH THE ERA ON THEIR MINDS: Most of Sunday’s event took place in the grassy center of Halifax Mall, where nearly a dozen speakers took the stage, representing a wide range of issues, from healthcare and reproductive rights, to indigenous people’s rights, to pay inequality between men and women. Longtime activist and march organizer Yevonne Brannon said a new generation is ready to pick up the torch for women’s rights. “I think you see a lot of young women who are anxious,” Brannon said at a march event earlier in the week. “They’re willing and ready and want to connect to their world. They’re very frustrated by coming out of high school and entering college, entering the workplace and seeing that we’re still facing many of the things they read about in their U.S. History classes.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/counties/wake-county/article239601663.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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IT'S TIME TO IMPLEMENT SOLUTIONS TO BRING QUALITY EDUCATION TO ALL NC STUDENTS: The order outlines in seven clear – and now indisputable -- points what needs to be done. It also provides a series of deadlines for the state to demonstrate compliance. The first will be two months from now. That will be a month before the opening of the General Assembly’s “short” session. Judge Lee will have the opportunity to determine if the state is moving properly in the agreed-upon direction. Then the General Assembly will need to pass the laws to fulfill the order. And all North Carolinians will be able to watch to see if their legislators provide the means to be sure every child gets access to the quality education our State Constitution is supposed to guarantee. It has been a quarter-century since North Carolina declared that, as the judge put it, “every child in North Carolina have the opportunity to receive a sound basic education in a public school.”
https://www.wral.com/editorial-with-agreement-on-facts-now-implement-solutions-to-bring-quality-educ...

Saturday News: Impaired government, impaired waters

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TRUMP'S EPA ROLLS BACK NC'S WATER PROTECTIONS: Krista Early, who directs Environment North Carolina’s campaigns to protect the state’s waterways and drinking water, said the rollback undoes 50 years of progress. "It strips regulations that have protected our drinking water and our wetlands and our feeder streams throughout the entire nation," Early said. Intermittent streams and isolated wetlands are no longer protected from pollution or development. Yet, Early said, they still feed into the creeks and rivers that become drinking water from many parts of the state. When it rains, the contaminated runoff will lead to more fish kills, chemical spills and toxic algae blooms, she said. "With the weakening of the Waters of the U.S. rule and the Clean Water Act, we are now looking at regulations that have currently been in place in North Carolina no longer being in place, and there’s no way for us to come back from this because our hands are tied," she said.
https://www.wral.com/rollback-of-federal-protections-could-affect-nc-s-drinking-water/18908050/

Friday News: Childish distractions

REPUBLICANS PLAY WITH FIDGET SPINNERS DURING IMPEACHMENT, THANKS TO RICHARD BURR: As senators sat through endless hours of arguments on impeachment, they found a new outlet to focus their attention: fidget spinners. Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., handed out the toys to his colleagues before Thursday's trial proceedings began. A fidget spinner is a small toy designed to be spun between the fingers, relieving stress or boredom. The devices and stress balls were on the tables at Burr's "Carolina Cookout" luncheon for senators that included hamburgers, hot dogs, sweet potato fries and ice cream sundaes. Burr was later seen playing with a blue spinner while listening to arguments by Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., an impeachment manager. Other senators, including Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., were also seen with spinners on their desks.
https://www.wral.com/trial-highlights-conspiracy-theories-and-fidget-spinners/18905917/

Thursday News: Collective bargaining

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NCAE POLLS MEMBERSHIP ON POTENTIAL TEACHER STRIKE: The NCAE Organize 2020 Racial & Social Justice Caucus is surveying school employees across the state about how many days of work they’re willing to miss to pressure the General Assembly to meet their funding demands. The survey gives options ranging from missing zero days to up to 10 days. The survey is taking place even though it’s against state law for teachers and other public employees to go on strike. Jeffrey Hirsch, professor at the UNC School of Law, cited how teachers in other states with similar bans went on strike and were not punished. If there are any consequences, he said it would be more likely that a North Carolina school district targeted the ringleaders for punishment. “Going after a large group of teachers would be very, very unlikely,” Hirsch said in an interview Wednesday.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/education/article239504518.html

Wednesday News: Demagoguery

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DAN FOREST SAYS PLANNED PARENTHOOD WAS CREATED TO DESTROY BLACK PEOPLE: Community leaders in Raleigh are divided over comments made by Lt. Gov Dan Forest during a speech at a church on Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. The Republican candidate for governor took aim at Planned Parenthood, claiming it originated to ‘destroy the entire black race.’ He has made no secret of his Christian beliefs over the years, including his opposition to abortion. Speaking to a group of black ministers in Fayetteville on Monday, he said he was glad the holiday honoring the civil rights leader combined issues of justice with life. "There’s no doubt that, when Planned Parenthood was created, it was created to destroy the entire black race," he said. "That was the purpose of Planned Parenthood. That’s just the truth. That’s not just some bloc on the side. That was the purpose when that organization was created."
https://www.wral.com/raleigh-community-leaders-divided-over-lt-gov-forest-comments-about-planned-par...

Tuesday News: Kabuki Theatre

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MARK MEADOWS PART OF TRUMP TEAM TO DISCREDIT IMPEACHMENT ARTICLES: The White House also announced Monday night that it had assembled a team of eight House Republicans to serve as part of the president’s defense team, including some of his fiercest defenders, like Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Mark Meadows of North Carolina and John Ratcliffe of Texas. McConnell’s trial rules, which limited each side’s arguments to 24 hours over two days, gave the White House a helping hand at the outset and drew swift anger from Democrats. The rules left open the possibility that the Senate could not only decline to hear new evidence not uncovered in the House impeachment inquiry, but could also sidestep considering the House case against Trump altogether — although such a vote is considered unlikely. “Under this resolution, Sen. McConnell is saying he doesn’t want to hear any of the existing evidence, and he doesn’t want to hear any new evidence,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., the minority leader. “It’s a cover-up, and the American people will see it for exactly what it is.”
https://www.wral.com/trump-legal-team-to-ask-senate-for-speedy-acquittal-in-impeachment-trial/18898443/

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