Thursday News: A Day Without Immigrants

SOME BUSINESSES CLOSE FOR ‘DAY WITHOUT IMMIGRANTS’(Raleigh News & Observer) -- The three Compare Foods grocery stores in Durham will close their doors on Thursday as part of “A Day Without Immigrants,” a movement that has grown out of a reaction to a recent uptick in deportations and raids by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. “A Day Without Immigrants” calls for Hispanics and their supporters to boycott stores, avoid restaurants and not send their children to schools on Thursday. A rally is also planned for Moore Square in downtown Raleigh at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, according to Que Pasa.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/community/durham-news/article132937604.html

Bogus assault on Michael Regan's potential conflicts

Talk about grabbing at straws:

In a letter obtained by the ABC11 I-Team, the State Ethics Commission confirms it found "the potential for a conflict of interest" pertaining to Michael Regan, the newly-appointed Secretary of the Department of Environmental Quality.

Specifically, the letter notes Regan worked for a law firm that provided environmental consulting and that he was directly involved with the Environmental Defense Fund, an environmental advocacy non-profit.

Really? You're all-of-a-sudden concerned about law firms, when at least 1/3 of the sitting lawmakers in the NCGA are employed at such before/during/after their terms? Michael Regan spent 10 years at the EPA and 8 years with EDF, neither of which involved "profit margins" or any other monetary considerations, other than securing funding for needed projects or advocacy. One of his predecessors (John Skvarla), however, was a totally different story. Skvarla was the CEO of a private company whose only revenues came from mitigating environmental damage. Do I need to repeat that? It was in the best interests of Restoration Systems that water quality *not* improve, and that wetlands continue to be plowed under by developers, so the company could get contracts to "restore" them. Like they did a few months after John Skvarla took the helm at NC DENR:

Wednesday News: Christian ethics?

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COACH ACCUSED OF EMBEZZLING NEARLY $400,000 FROM SCHOOL (AP) -- State officials say the basketball coach and athletic director at Trinity Christian, a Fayetteville Christian school is accused of embezzling nearly $400,000 from the religious organization. The school has the largest number of students receiving state-funded vouchers – 164 – and received $342,294 this year. Heath Curtis Vandevender is accused of embezzling and converting to his own use state withholding taxes totaling $388,422 while he was vice president at Truth Outreach Center from 2008 to 2015. The center also is known as Trinity Community Services in Fayetteville.
http://www.wral.com/coach-accused-of-embezzling-nearly-400-000-from-school/16528933/

Dear historians

Looking back on America in the early 21st century, it's clear that one of the great near-misses for democracy was the short-lived presidency of Donald Trump. A con man through and through, Trump flaunted his power like cokehead tweeting porn at three in the morning, daring anyone to challenge him.

Tuesday News: Beyond the pale

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BERGER AND MOORE'S STATEMENT THREATENED COURT, NC BAR SHOULD REVIEW (Capitol Broadcasting Co. editorial) -- It is one thing to disagree with a judicial ruling, but quite another to accuse judges of acting outside the law. Even more outrageous, lawyers like Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore threatened the judges - and the entire judicial branch of government - with retaliation. Specific rules govern the conduct of public officials who are also lawyers and we have no doubt that Berger and Moore are well aware of these prohibitions against using their position to influence judges; making reckless statements concerning the integrity of judges; or threatening, bullying or harassing judges with the intent to intimidate them. The N.C. Bar should review the legislators' conduct.
http://www.wral.com/editorial-berger-and-moore-statement-threatened-court-n-c-bar-should-review/1652...

Calling Senator Burr ... again

Let me make sure I understand this.

Senator Burr is the chair of the Senate Special Committee on Intelligence (how's that for an oxymoron?). That committee held secret meetings in December and reported no evidence or concern about Russian involvement in US affairs. Yesterday, one of Cheeto's top military men resigned after it was learned that he had extensive and illegal contact with Russians during the course of the campaign. It looks to me like Mr. Burr is part of the cover-up.

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Why elections to the NC Supreme Court matter:

Aside from the obvious usurpation of Roy Cooper's powers as Governor, the Ethics Board doesn't just look at campaign finance irregularities, they look at personal conflicts of interest, like filing bills that help lawmakers enrich themselves via investment portfolio holdings. Mixing the two would merely dilute both efforts, opening the door for corruption. Bad idea.

Moribund McCrory whines about paid protesters

NBC is scraping the bottom of the barrel:

EUGENE ROBINSON: Well, look, but the party is going to the left. I mean, that's, you know, you see what's happening out there. You see these protests every week. It has really sort of energized the Democratic sort of coalition in the way that, frankly--in the way that the Tea Party did on the right.

FMR. GOV. PAT MCCRORY: Follow the money. Follow the money. You know, Senator Sanders mentioned the money going to the Tea Party. The money is going to the Bernie Sanders wing. Do you think all these protests are not being paid?

Follow the money! He actually said that. We've been following Myers Park Pat's various money trails since before NC screwed up and made him Governor, and he's damn lucky he didn't end up in jail like Patrick Cannon did. I guarantee you if the FBI had attempted even the most obvious of stings, they would have caught that particular dumbass fish. As to the "paid protests," Greta fried his little theory:

Monday News: Sorry doesn't cut it

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N.C. GOP’S WOODHOUSE APPOLOGIZES AFTER RETWEETING ARTICLE CALLING TRANSGENDER STUDENTS ‘PERVS’ (Charlotte Observer) -- A North Carolina Republican Party leader apologized after retweeting an article from a conservative blog that calls transgender students sexual perverts and mentally ill. “Justice Department Kills Obama’s Pervs-In-The-Girls-Bathroom Rule,” reads the headline on the article on Red State. “I should not have re-tweeted this article,” he said. “I did not read it close enough and I am sorry.”
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article132217719.html

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