Tuesday News: Fighting injustice

NAACP March.jpg

13 ARRESTED AS POOR PEOPLE'S CAMPAIGN RETURNS TO NC GENERAL ASSEMBLY: Thirteen protesters were arrested Monday afternoon outside the offices of top legislative leaders. The North Carolina Poor People's Campaign, part of a national movement and in some ways a continuation of the "Moral Monday" movement in North Carolina, held a chanting, singing sit-in outside the the office suites of Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore. This was week two of a planned six-week campaign in the state. Last week, protesters closed Jones Street outside the statehouse, and nearly 50 were cited. Today most, if not all, of those arrested wore yellow armbands, signaling their willingness to be arrested. Others dispersed as police ordered, then stood aside and cheered those led out in plastic zip-ties, again much like the Moral Monday protests.

Tuesday Twitter roundup

The truth will set us free:

Yep, not much to argue with right there...

Another Trump "bright idea" goes down in flames


All those "beautiful" bridges and roads will just have to wait:

President Trump’s legislative framework for a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s infrastructure appears all but dead in Congress. Lawmakers are focused on other legislative matters, and Democrats say the latest “infrastructure week” that started Sunday has done little to reinvigorate the president’s plan.

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), the ranking member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, told The Hill Wednesday that there has been no movement on a bill with Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.). “As far as I know, it’s been shredded, or burned, or something. It doesn’t exist,” DeFazio said Wednesday of the president’s rebuilding blueprint.

Frankly, I'm more than a little relieved. North Carolina is already suffering from the NC GOP's efforts to push critical funding down to the county and municipal level, and another $1.5 Trillion "buy-in" from the Trump administration is a hell of a lot more than we can afford. From Wake to Alamance Counties and several points in-between, we've got huge school bonds on November's ballot, and there just isn't any "extra" local funding lying around to be drawn into another Donald Trump pyramid scheme:

Monday News: Tainted money, tainted water


GENX MANUFACTURER SWEETENS THE CAMPAIGN KITTY FOR BERGER & MOORE: The $5,200 contribution came from the Manufacturers Alliance PAC, which gave the same amount to Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger in December. These represent the PAC's biggest donations in years, and Berger and Moore are the top leaders in the General Assembly. Chemours' head state government affairs executive, Jeff Fritz, who is based in Indiana, gave the PAC $500 on April 3. It appears to be his first donation to the PAC and the first time he's donated to an entity that plays in North Carolina state politics. The next day, the PAC made its contribution to Moore's campaign fund. Fritz said Friday the donation was a personal one and that he didn't ask the PAC to turn around and give to Moore.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


LEGISLATORS CAN DECLARE COOPER'S BUDGET 'DOA', BUT IT RESPECTS NC'S NEEDS: North Carolina’s legislative leaders pronounced Gov. Roy Cooper’s budget D-O-A. It would have been a bit more appropriate, even polite, if the diagnosis came AFTER he’d proposed it. Before the budget is relegated to the recycling bin, state Senate leader Phil Berger, House Speaker Tim Moore and their lieutenants should enlighten themselves and give the budget a look. They might even consider joining Cooper to show some R-E-S-P-E-C-T for the many North Carolinians and issues they’ve neglected for the last seven years while lavishing the state’s corporations with excessive tax breaks. Legislators would go a long way toward appropriately honoring North Carolina’s education, health, public safety, rural communities, growing businesses and working families, by adopting the priorities that Cooper laid out last week.

Saturday News: Profiles in courage

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE ADVOCATE PEARL BERLIN LEAVES LEGACY IN HER PASSING: Pearl Berlin, who challenged North Carolina's refusal to recognize same-sex marriages, has died. She was 93. Berlin died Thursday, said Matt Hirschey, head of special projects for Equality NC. Berlin married Ellen Gerber in a synagogue in Greensboro in 2013 and followed with civil ceremony in Maine that year, but their marriage remained legally invalid in North Carolina. With Berlin suffering health problems in 2014, the couple rushed to join the vanguard of efforts to strike down the state ban, so that Gerber could have spousal rights over decisions about her care. The American Civil Liberties Union urged a federal judge to quickly negate the ban, which was deemed unconstitutional that same year. Berlin's memorial service will be held at UNC Greensboro on June 14.

Mark Meadows wants to strangle Trump's very own Deep Throat informer


File this one under "Collusion between Congress and the President":

The Post first reported earlier this month that an FBI informant and top-secret, longtime intelligence source had provided information early in the FBI investigation of connections between Russia and the Trump campaign. A New York Times story published Wednesday about the beginnings of the Russia probe reported that at least one government informant met several times with two former Trump campaign advisers, Carter Page and George Papadopoulos.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) has been conferring with Trump — in three or more calls a week — communicating concerns that the Justice Department is hiding worrisome information about the elements of the probe, according to people familiar with their discussions.

Aside from undermining law enforcement in their efforts to detect, solve, and punish crimes, it appears we now know where Trump gets some of his information for his zany Tweets. But back to the undermining law enforcement thing: If you've ever been curious how some 3rd World dictators are able to remain in power so long, when they are obviously unfit and even dangerous to their populations, it's almost always due to the harsh stifling of critics and the "disappearing" of people who know too much. What Mark Meadows is trying to do, in his efforts to shield Trump from the authorities, is tantamount to loading a gun and handing it to a hit-man:

Friday News: The wrong choice

HEADMISTRESS AT RALEIGH PRIVATE SCHOOL IGNORED YEARS OF SEXUAL ABUSE: Nicholas Smith, a former math teacher at a private school in Raleigh, is accused of grooming a ninth-grade student into a sexual relationship — first texting her, then kissing her and finally having sex with her at school, her parents' homes and during a field trip. When school leaders heard complaints about Smith's behavior and told him to avoid inappropriate interactions with female students, he is accused of turning his attention to the girl's younger sister. A complaint filed in Wake County Superior Court in January paints a haunting picture of sexual abuse allegations at The Montessori School of Raleigh, which serves students from pre-school through 12th grade. It also accuses the school and its headmistress of turning a blind eye to the accusations of abuse, which spanned from August 2012 to June 2016.


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