GOVERNOR COOPER VETOES MEDICAID "TRANSFORMATION" LEGISLATION: These mini budgets came to the governor's desk this week as the legislature's Republican majority explored ways around his June veto of the state's overall budget. The pay raises, covering state highway patrol, prison system employees, the State Bureau of Investigations and a long list of other state employees, moved through the General Assembly with bipartisan, unanimous support. But Medicaid transformation, long a GOP priority even though it fell to Gov. Roy Cooper's administration to implement, drew opposition from legislative Democrats. Cooper said in a statement that "passing mini-funding bills that simply divvy up the vetoed Republican budget is a tactic to avoid a comprehensive budget." "Health care is an area where North Carolina needs us to do more, and to do it comprehensively," Cooper said in his statement.
BIG SURPRISE, TRUMP LIES ABOUT DAN MCCREADY: “Looking forward to being with Dan Bishop in two weeks, in North Carolina. His opponent believes in Open Borders and Sanctuary Cities, and won’t protect your Second Amendment!” Trump tweeted on Aug. 27. But in that column, McCready was quoted saying that immigration reform “starts with securing the border.” In fact, he has repeatedly said he wants to secure the border. His comments to WFAE and in a recent WBTV debate echo the position outlined on his website. When asked in the debate how he’d handle migrant families at the border, McCready said: “We absolutely need a secure border. If some Democrats are saying we don’t need a secure border, that’s crazy. Now, I don’t think we need 3,000 miles of wall to do it. I think we can use the type of surveillance technology I used over in Iraq,” he said, referring to his experience as a Marine. McCready’s plans for undocumented immigrants living in America might be vague. But that doesn’t mean he favors open borders.
GOVERNOR DECLARES STATE OF EMERGENCY TO AID FARMERS PREPARING FOR HURRICANE: Governor Roy Cooper on Friday issued an order to help North Carolina farmers harvest and transport crops quickly in preparation for any future impacts from Hurricane Dorian. The State of Emergency declaration waives certain transportation restrictions to help farmers and support relief efforts in advance of the storm, which is expected to strike the southeast in the next few days. Gov. Cooper issued the order to help farmers statewide after conferring with North Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Troxler. “Some farmers have let us know that they are taking action now to harvest and transfer crops to protect them from potential damage and they need these restrictions lifted,” Governor Cooper said.
SILVER LINING: NEOCON JOHN BOLTON IS BEING EDGED OUT OF DEFENSE ISSUES: The attendance of the top security aide would normally be critical, but the omission was no mistake, senior U.S. officials said. Bolton, who has long advocated an expansive military presence around the world, has become a staunch internal foe of an emerging peace deal aimed at ending America’s longest war, the officials said. His opposition to the diplomatic effort in Afghanistan has irritated President Trump, these officials said, and led aides to leave the National Security Council out of sensitive discussions about the agreement. The sidelining of Bolton has raised questions about his influence in an administration that is seeking a troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, as well as an ambitious nuclear deal with North Korea and potential engagement with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Bolton, U.S. officials said, stands in opposition to those efforts, but he does so increasingly from the periphery. “It’s messed up on so many levels that the national security adviser isn’t involved, but trust is a real issue,” said a senior U.S. official, one of a half-dozen who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal conversations.
TRUMP USES CLASSIFIED SATELLITE IMAGE TO TAUNT IRAN ABOUT DESTROYED MISSILE PLATFORM: As pictures from commercial satellites of a rocket’s smoking remains began to circulate, President Trump denied Friday on Twitter that the United States was involved. It was an unusual message because the Iranian government had neither acknowledged the accident nor blamed the United States. His tweet ended with an apparent taunt: “I wish Iran best wishes and good luck in determining what happened” in the fiery accident. But Mr. Trump also included in his tweet a high-resolution image of the disaster, immediately raising questions about whether he had plucked a classified image from his morning intelligence briefing to troll the Iranians. The president seemed to resolve the question on Friday night on his way to Camp David when he told reporters, “We had a photo and I released it, which I have the absolute right to do.” It was unclear if Mr. Trump was using the explosion and the lurking suspicions among Iranians that the United States was again deep inside their nuclear and missile programs to force a negotiation or to undermine one.