Wednesday News: Culture of Trumpism


DURHAM HIGH SCHOOL LACROSSE PLAYER RECORDS RACIST, SEXIST VIDEO: Durham Public Schools and Jordan High School are investigating after a video showed up on social media showing a student-athlete making racist and sexist comments. Two people are shown in the video but only one person speaks during the 10-second recording. Aminah Jenkins, the student body president at Jordan, told that the student speaking plays football and lacrosse. "I was initially disheartened that a student at Jordan would use a racial slur and degrade women," Jenkins said on Tuesday night. "My concerns are not in any way about his political views, but about his comments about women and the racial slur." The student on video uses the N-word at the end of the video and makes several references to President Donald Trump.

COBLE DODGES MEETING, MARSHALL AND STEIN BLAST GOP AMENDMENTS: Stein described one of the amendments as “the most radical restructuring of our government in more than 100 years, since the Civil War. It would essentially give the Legislature the power to run the executive branch.” It’s like voters buying a beautiful birthday cake, Stein said, “going home to eat it, and it’s cat food.” Marshall described the ballot questions as “a Trojan horse or a pig in a poke.” The ballot question on “establishing a Bipartisan Board of Ethics and Elections” and “clarifying appointment authority of the Legislative and Judicial branches” would take away the governor’s power to appoint members to boards and commissions and put it in the hands of the Legislature, Stein said. He said it is “disingenuous” to use the word “clarify.” Moreover, the Legislature could appoint commissions to dictate operations at executive branch offices, Stein said.

NC SCHOOLS SUE THE STATE FOR $750 MILLION OWED THEM FROM FINES AND FORFEITURES: North Carolina school districts are set to sue for hundreds of millions of dollars a court previously ruled was owed them. The North Carolina School Boards Association scheduled a Wednesday news conference in Durham to announce a complaint reviving a decades-long legal battle over nearly $750 million in civil penalties. The state constitution requires certain fines and forfeitures collected by state agencies go to public schools. School boards sued the state in 1998, arguing that agencies hadn't sent along the monetary penalties. The case reached the state Supreme Court, and a trial judge ultimately determined in 2008 how much districts should receive. But the judge stopped short of ordering the legislature to pay up, saying it was beyond the scope of his powers to do so.

THE RUSSIANS ARE BACK: FACEBOOK WARNS NEW WAVE OF "INAUTHENTIC" POLITICAL ACTIVITIES: Facebook elevated concerns about election interference Tuesday, announcing that it had uncovered "sophisticated" efforts, possibly linked to Russia, to manipulate U.S. politics and by extension the upcoming midterm elections. The company was careful to hedge its announcement; it didn't link the effort directly to Russia or to the midterms, now less than a hundred days away. And its findings were limited to 32 apparently fake accounts on Facebook and Instagram, which the company removed because they were involved in "coordinated" and "inauthentic" political behavior. But official Washington connected those dots anyway, not least because the reported activity so closely mirrored Russian influence campaigns during the 2016 presidential election. Nearly 300,000 people followed at least one of the newly banned accounts and thousands expressed interest in events they promoted.

TRUMP'S LACK OF CONCERN OVER ELECTION MEDDLING EARNS HIM CRITICISM: As alarms blare about Russian interference in U.S. elections, the Trump administration is facing criticism that it has no clear national strategy to protect the country during the upcoming midterms and beyond. Both Republicans and Democrats have criticized the administration's response as fragmented, without enough coordination across federal agencies. And with the midterms just three months away, critics are calling on President Donald Trump to take a stronger stand on an issue critical to American democracy. "People on both sides of the aisle have been beating the drum for two years now about the need for somebody to be accountable for cybersecurity across the government," Shaheen said. National Intelligence Director Dan Coats said U.S. intelligence officials continue to see activity from individuals affiliated with the Internet Research Agency, whose members were indicted by U.S. special counsel Robert Mueller. Coats said they create new social media accounts disguised as those of Americans, then use the fake accounts to drive attention to divisive issues in America.