Friday News: Left behind

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RALEIGH CITY COUNCIL REFUSES TO EXPAND NON-DISCRIMINATION ORDINANCE: The city of Raleigh will wait to expand protections for LGBTQ people, Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin said, despite other governments expanding their non-discrimination ordinances now that a state ban has ended. “If we are going to pass something that can’t be enforced and isn’t legal, then we are not really accomplishing anything,” Baldwin said. “We are just contributing to the noise." Raleigh City Attorney Robin Tatum said she couldn’t comment on the city’s authority to expand its non-discrimination order based on gender identity, sexuality and military status, citing attorney-client privilege. The School of Government at UNC-Chapel Hill can’t provide a “clear answer” on the legality of the local ordinances, said Rebecca Badgett, a local government legal educator.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/counties/wake-county/article248800005.html

Tim Kaine is pushing "Censure" instead of Impeachment trial

Thankfully it's not getting much traction:

Kaine, a Virginia Democrat, told Capitol Hill reporters on Wednesday that he views censure as a possible “alternative” to Trump’s upcoming impeachment trial in the Senate. But the idea didn’t appear to gain much traction with Senate Democratic leaders.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, (D-N.Y.), said Wednesday, as Kaine’s effort became public, that “there will be a trial, and the evidence against the former president will be presented, in living color, for the nation and every one of us to see.”

Let this be just one more example of why expecting radical legislation out of our 50/50+1 Senate majority is more than a little naive. I shouldn't have to remind you (but I probably do), Tim Kaine was Hillary's running mate, and had a front row seat when Trump told her she was going to jail, and stalked up behind her during a debate. He should be the last Democratic Senator to fold on Impeachment, but here we are:

Thursday News: Afraid of the truth

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REPUBLICANS OPPOSE CHANGES TO SOCIAL STUDIES THAT EXPLORE SYSTEMIC RACISM: “The system of government that we have in this nation is not systematically racist,” Robinson said. “In fact, it is not racist at all.” State board member Amy White said North Carolina social studies teachers should be telling students that America is the greatest nation on Earth. She blamed the news media for promoting an anti-American viewpoint. “While I think some of the revisions have been helpful, I still see an agenda that is anti-American, anti-capitalism, anti-democracy,” said White, who was appointed by former GOP Gov. Pat McCrory. She is a former social studies teacher. Wednesday’s debate marks the latest chapter in the struggle over how best to teach the state’s 1.5 million public school students about social studies.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article248777855.html

Coal Ash Wednesday: A costly victory over Duke Energy

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There are 2.9 Billion reasons this settlement falls short:

It finally seems to be reaching an end of sorts — though the actual cleanup is not expected to be completed until 2029. But with a recently reached settlement, we at least know now who is going to pay for the cleanup. We are. On Monday, Stein and Duke Energy announced a settlement under which customers are expected to bear about 75% of the projected $4 billion clean-up costs through 2030.

"This settlement settles this dispute for the next 10 years that is fair to customers,” Stein said. “It is a win for every single Duke Energy customer." But it also seems like a win for Duke Energy, which will not have to sacrifice much in the way of profits or payments to shareholders.

I knew there had to be some sort of compromise, although it is tempting to stamp one's foot and demand that Duke pay for all of it. It is their mess, and if you took your family to a restaurant, but the manager said you had to go back in the kitchen and scrub the pots and pans at the end of the meal, you would laugh at him. It's no different. They sold us that power, and made enough of a profit to give shareholders a hefty dividend every quarter. A 50/50 cost share would have been hard to swallow, but making us pay 3/4 of the cost? That's a choker.

Wednesday News: Profiles in cowardice

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BURR & TILLIS VOTE TO STOP IMPEACHMENT TRIAL OF DONALD TRUMP: Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis both voted to acquit Trump in his first impeachment trial in early 2020. Both voted to certify the election results Jan. 6, recognizing Trump’s defeat by Joe Biden. On Tuesday, both were supportive of a Republican motion calling the impeachment trial unconstitutional. Sen. Rand Paul forced a procedural vote in the Senate on the trial’s constitutionality. It was killed by Democrats and five Republicans, but Burr, Tillis and 43 other Republicans backed his view. “This is a civilian now. A charge like this would go to the Justice Department and be referred for prosecution. Unfortunately, that’s not what they’re doing,” Burr told reporters at the Capitol on Monday. Tillis told reporters at the Capitol on Tuesday that “on the broader issue of impeaching a private citizen, I think, is an issue where the Senate needs to create a record that the majority of us are against it.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article248784240.html

Xavier Becerra’s Leadership at HHS will Jumpstart Federal COVID-19 Response

Our country is in the middle of the worst public health crisis in American history, and despite the approval of multiple COVID-19 vaccines, the Trump administration's failure to effectively distribute the vaccine far and wide has undermined the response to the pandemic, and left North Carolinians vulnerable to the virus.

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