Tuesday News: No teeth, no bite


CHARLOTTE CONDEMNS TRUMP BUT WON'T RESCIND RNC 2020 CONTRACT: Monday’s vote followed a brief discussion on whether city leaders could legally back out of Charlotte’s agreement with the Republican National Committee to host its 2020 convention — a move that would, according to the city’s attorney, assuredly land Charlotte in a costly legal fight. The resolution cites four specific comments from Trump, from June 2017 to July 2019, and accuses the president of “racist and xenophobic social media tweets and comments.” “Many of (Charlotte’s) residents are immigrants and/or people of color,” the resolution states. “The Charlotte City Council ... believes that Charlotte should always be welcoming and inviting of people of diverse and different ethnicities and background (sic), so long as those differences do not lead to personal insults or violent discourse.” Several council members acknowledged the resolution would have “no teeth” beyond making a statement.

CARY BAR CANCELS EVENT PROMOTING "PROUD BOYS" WHITE NATIONALIST GROUP: The Wake County Republican Liberty Caucus’ August business meeting event page on Facebook said it would include a presentation called “Who are the Proud Boys?,” with speaker Hussein Hill. It provided this description of Hill from his blog: “Hey, I’m Hussein Hill. I’m an independent, right leaning, libertarian content creator. I am here to create content that promotes the individual, art, pro American/Western values and the destruction of the modern, Marxist narrative.” While the Proud Boys organization claims they are not part of the racist alt-right, the Southern Poverty Law Center says they appear at events with alt-right groups, including the “Unite the Right” Charlottesville, Va., rally. Wake RLC wrote in its Facebook post about the August meeting: “This should be an interesting talk and give those in attendance a better understanding of the Alt Right.” Proud Boys describe themselves as a fraternal organization, and to join “you must be a man and you must love the West.”

FOLWELL SCRAMBLES TO SAVE HIS ILL-ADVISED NEW HEALTH PLAN: State Treasurer Dale Folwell sweetened the pot Monday in an effort to get hospitals on board with the State Health Plan that serves hundreds of thousands of state employees, retirees and North Carolina teachers. Folwell also reopened signups for hospitals and doctors, giving them a redo after nearly every hospital in the state rejected his previous offer at the July 1 negotiating deadline. The treasurer said payments he proposed Monday would give hospitals $116 million more than the first offer but still save taxpayers and state employees $200 million on insurance premiums and other health plan costs. Folwell called it a "final offer." It wasn't clear whether this would move the needle for hospitals that have largely been united in rejecting Folwell's planned move from individual contracts negotiated by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, which handles claims for the State Health Plan. Folwell wants to pay a set price for specific procedures. UNC Health Care said it needs time to study the new proposal. Spokespeople for the Duke University Health System and Atrium Health didn't immediately provide comment on the new pitch.

TRUMP'S DOJ TRIES TO STIFLE MUELLER'S CONGRESSIONAL TESTIMONY IN WARNING LETTER: The final portion of the letter makes a broader, vaguer admonition not to discuss matters that could be covered by executive privilege - a legally and factually complicated assertion that could, in theory, cover many topics, given that Mueller’s task was to investigate President Donald Trump while working in the executive branch. The letter defines potential executive-privilege-covered matters to include “information protected by law enforcement, deliberative process, attorney work product, and presidential communication privileges. These privileges would include discussion about investigative steps or decisions made during your investigation not otherwise described in the public version of your report.” The letter instructs Mueller to decline to discuss “potentially privileged matters” so that Justice Department lawyers can review the specific topics later and decide whether they are covered by executive privilege.

TRUMP SAYS HE COULD WIPE AFGHANISTAN OFF THE FACE OF THE EARTH: “If I wanted to win that war, Afghanistan would be wiped off the face of the earth,” Trump said Monday. “It would be over in literally, in 10 days.” He did not elaborate on how that would be done. Trump made the seemingly offhand comments during a White House meeting with visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in which the two discussed a number of bilateral issues, including ending the war in Afghanistan. The office of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Tuesday immediately asked for “clarification” about Trump’s statement “via diplomatic means and channels.” The statement from Ghani’s office Tuesday described Afghanistan as “one of the most deep-rooted and ancient countries of the world,” which has overcome many crises throughout its history. “The Afghan nation has not and will never allow any foreign power to determine its fate,” it said.