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Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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DEAL TO CURB GUN VIOLENCE IS BARELY A TOKEN EFFORT. MUCH MORE NEEDED NOW: It would be generous to describe as even incremental progress, the bipartisan response to the recent spate of mass shootings – including the assault-style rifle enabled slaughter of 21 at the elementary school in Uvalde, Texas and before that 10 dead at a Buffalo, N.Y. grocery store. They don’t even make modest progress toward stopping access to automatic-style weapons. There is some small progress. For that, we should be tepidly thankful? But the problems generated by the easy access to weapons whose only purpose is mass destruction is not going away with this latest action. It will not defuse it as an issue in the fall elections. Banning assault weapons is NOT an attack on the 2nd Amendment. It is about protecting public safety and health. When 57% of American parents and 51% of North Carolinians are worried that there will be a shooting at their child’s school, Congress is doing little to comfort and reassure them. How much power does the NRA have to block any meaningful efforts to control these deadly assault weapons? When North Carolinians cast ballots in the fall, it should be clearly for those who will work to ban assault weapons in Congress or in the state legislature. And they most certainly should not vote for candidates who pose for pictures holding assault rifles, or political parties who make them raffle prizes.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-deal-to-curb-gun-violence-is-barely-token-effort-much-more-needed-now...

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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OIL COMPANIES SHOULD PAY WINDFALL PROFITS TAX: A month ago it was reported that ExxonMobil’s net profit more than doubled to $5.5 billion from a year earlier – and that was after taking a $3.4 billion charge from closing down its operations in Russia. Shell reports its highest profits ever and Chevron’s quarterly profit was the biggest in nearly a decade. What are these companies doing with the windfall of cash – that has come largely as a result of Russia’s unconscionable aggression in Ukraine? Why is there corporate silence instead of loud cheers of “drill baby drill?” Because oil and gas company execs are more interested in pumping up their own wealth – and that of their investors – than making sure American families can afford to get to and from their jobs, drop their kids at school, pick up groceries and take care of the other basic needs of daily life. These companies are buying back their stock and sending cash to shareholders. In other words, they are sending cash to themselves, while artificially inflating the value of their stocks. And they are artificially inflating the price of crude by not increasing production to meet demand. Their behavior needs to be modified.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-oil-companies-should-pay-windfall-profits-tax/20323516/

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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BIDEN'S MODEST PROPOSAL PROTECTS LIVES AND GUN RIGHTS: If the members of North Carolina’s congressional delegation want to show they REALLY stand with the American people they have a chance to do it by passing the common-sense agenda President Joe Biden outlined Thursday in his nationally televised speech. Since the start of the year there have been 233 mass shootings nationwide, resulting in 261 deaths and 1,010 injuries – 8 in North Carolina with seven deaths and 28 injured. Isn’t it about time – after Buffalo, Uvalde, and Tulsa for that gratuitous symbolism to be backed up by notions of responsibility. Isn’t it about time our members of congress sided with the overwhelming majority of their constituents? Backing responsible gun purchase and ownership regulation won’t diminish anyone’s 2nd Amendment rights -- though it may cost a politician a few bucks from the NRA. But probably not. What it will do is restore some sanity to the nation’s firearms culture and definitely save some lives. It's long past time. AR-15s are easier to purchase than handguns, and ammunition for them is easier to purchase than cold medicine. Lawmakers have shirked their responsibility for way too long, and that needs to stop.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-biden-s-modest-proposal-protects-lives-and-gun-rights/20315870/

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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PROTECT LIFE. PASS THE ASSAULT WEAPONS BAN AND BETTER BACKGROUND CHECKS: They didn’t die because the school has too many doors (As Texas Senator Ted Cruz has claimed). They didn’t die because their teachers were not armed. They didn’t die because they were some place they shouldn’t be. They were where they were supposed to be and where they assumed was as safe as any place on the planet. They are dead because a person, protecting himself with body armor and ladened with weapons of mass destruction and ammunition he’d purchased just days earlier, entered a classroom and in just a few minutes blasted away at as many as he could. They are dead because some politicians are more fearful of campaign retribution from the well-financed gun lobby than they’re concerned about the safety of their constituents. Why is it such a struggle to pass common-sense laws that would require criminal checks on those who purchase firearms at gun shows and through the internet? Why is it such an onerous slog to pass legislation to lengthen the waiting period for gun-buyers who are flagged by instant background checks so law enforcement can do further investigation? The original assault weapons ban passed in 1994 after three mass shooting events occurred within six years. We have that many now every three weeks. It takes courage and conviction to serve the public, traits sorely lacking in the GOP these days.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-protect-life-pass-the-assault-weapons-ban-and-better-background-check...

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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BISHOP AND CAWTHORN'S "AMERICA FIRST" PUTS FREEDOM LAST: If anyone is seeking a credible litmus test to determine if an officeholder truly believes in freedom, justice and civility, they need look no further then how they vote on aid for the Ukrainians’ defense of their homes and nation against the unwarranted and unjust deadly aggression by Russia and its leader Vladimir Putin. Two North Carolinians – Republicans Dan Bishop of Charlotte and Madison Cawthorn of Hendersonville – fail the test miserably and in doing so, demonstrate they lack the humanity and integrity to represent the state or nation. “America First” – Donald Trump’s slogan with roots in the isolationist, anti-immigration anti-Semitic slogan of opponents of U.S. involvement in efforts to oppose the aggression of the German Nazis a century ago – does not mean freedom last. America, Cawthorn and Bishop don’t seem to realize, is the world’s beacon of freedom. Their vote is a rejection of all this nation stands for. They don’t represent the real America. Cawthorn has screwed up so many times in the last several weeks it's hard to tell which controversy sunk him. I'd like to think it was his attack on Zelenskyy and not something stupid like wearing lingerie, but we can't afford to take that for granted.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-bishop-and-cawthorn-s-america-first-puts-freedom-last/20287392/

Weekend Wound-Up

Madison Cawthorn goes full-on Nazi after losing his Primary:

“It’s time for the rise of the new right, it’s time for Dark MAGA to truly take command,” Cawthorn, 26, wrote on Instagram. “We have an enemy to defeat, but we will never be able to defeat them until we defeat the cowardly and weak members of our own party. Their days are numbered. We are coming.” Twitter users describe “Dark MAGA” — a take on Trump’s Make America Great Again slogan — as a group that believes there’s no political solution beyond vengeance, Newsweek reported, and that the former president has been too kindhearted and forgiving to his political opponents. It also has ties to neo-Nazi and white supremacy, Business Insider reported.

Aside from the fact we have yet to see a "light" MAGA, this is a typical reaction from an immature, spoiled rotten man-child. But we can't (or shouldn't) let this temper tantrum distract us from important business, like the NCGA's upcoming Budget adjustments:

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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NC'S OUTER BANKS ARE HAZARDOUS FOR HOMES. IT'S ABOUT TO GET MUCH WORSE: A few days ago, the Cape Hatteras National Seashore announced that a couple more houses collapsed and fell in the ocean near Rodanthe during a moderate storm on the Outer Banks of our state. The unusual aspect of this occurrence was that one of the houses was on high stilts. Often we hear that if you must live near the beach build on stilts and you are not likely to be affected by waves and overwash currents. So much for that generalization. This latest event comes after the Nov. 7, 2021 Nor’easter that halted traffic on N.C. Highway 12 for a couple of days due to flooding and overwash. These events give us a taste of the future, but we ain’t seen nothin’ yet. As everyone knows, climate change is producing warmer seas and the warmer water will produce larger and more frequent storms, all this occurring as the sea level is rising. A higher sea, of course, will increase storm damage. My Geology professor spent several days covering the creation and disposition of the Outer Banks. When you understand that most of NC's Coastal Plain (over 1/3 of the state) was once under water, the consequences of Climate Change become horrifically clear.
https://www.newsobserver.com/opinion/article261382957.html

Weekend Wound-Up

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ABSOLUTE POWER CORRUPTS ABSOLUTELY: The Republican leadership in 2022 in the legislature will remain after the general election. Some state lawmakers have essentially already won because they are totally unopposed, both in the primary and the general election. State lawmakers who are virtually guaranteed another term are Republican Senate leader Phil Berger, Republican House Speaker Tim Moore, Republican Senate Rules Chair Bill Rabon, Republican Senate Appropriations Chair Brent Jackson, Republican House Majority Leader John Bell, and Republican House Appropriations Chairs Jason Saine and Donny Lambeth. It would have been nice to see a few of these dudes get culled in the Primary, but we should not have left them unopposed in November. Hopefully we aren't sliding back to our old pragmatic habits of leaving dozens of races uncontested.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article261296432.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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PROTECT REPRODUCTIVE HEALTHCARE FOR NORTH CAROLINA WOMEN: It appears the U.S. Supreme Court will overturn the current federal legal standard on abortion, as determined in the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, and place that standard in the hands of the states. In North Carolina, that means it will be the state legislature that will determine the standard. North Carolina’s current laws are appropriate and adequate. Roe v. Wade already is a very restricted right to abortion – and a majority of North Carolinians support it. “Reproductive healthcare decisions are deeply personal and should be made by patients in consultation with their healthcare providers, not by politicians,” said a letter signed by Gov. Roy Cooper and 16 other governors earlier this week. The letter, to the top leaders of the U.S. House and Senate, called on Congress to act quickly. Bolding mine, because that number (1/3 of the states) is significant, and a clear warning. Some of those other states already have trigger laws in effect, which will outlaw abortion as soon as Roe is overturned. Others will likely act quickly, leaving NC in a distinct minority where it is allowed. We cannot allow Republicans to regain their Veto-proof majorities in the Legislature come November, or NC will join that repressive, misogynistic movement.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-protect-reproductive-healthcare-for-north-carolina-women/20267907/

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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WHERE DO YOU STAND? GET CANDIDATES ON THE RECORD ON SUPPORT FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Every legislative candidate must be on the record as to whether they will support and will work for full implementation of the Comprehensive Remedial Plan – a multi-year program worked out and agreed to by the plaintiffs and defendants in the landmark Leandro case. This plan – that a judge has ordered implemented – will provide a solid foundation to make sure the state does what it promises. The non-partisan Public School Forum of North Carolina is working to help voters and candidates know where those seeking office stand on the most crucial public education issues. Every legislative candidate has been offered the opportunity to respond – and every one should. Regardless of the answers, it will be a crucial resource to help voters – and candidates. Voters will be more fully informed when they vote and candidates will clearly let voters know where they stand. The Forum expects to start posting answers to its six key education questions later this week with early in-person voting starting Thursday, April 28 and concluding on Tuesday, May 17 – primary election day.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-where-do-you-stand-get-candidates-on-the-record-on-support-for-public...

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