Daily dose

Daily dose: The Lt. Gov. of extremism edition


Open letter sent in support of 'religious freedom' bill (AP) — North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, disregarding sentiments expressed by fellow Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, joined several faith leaders in writing an open letter to elected officials in support of a so-called "religious freedom" bill.

Daily dose: "Well, duh, that's the whole point!" edition


Commercial Exposing Animal Cruelty at NC Farms Deemed "Too Graphic" (Public News Service) -- The Humane Society of the United States recently submitted a commercial to select TV stations across the state, highlighting why it opposes so-called ag-gag legislation (SB 433/HB 405) to punish whistleblowers on factory farms. "Animal cruelty at Butterball and Pilgrim factory farms in North Carolina, exposed by these undercover, whistle-blower videos,” the commercial reads. “Animals buried alive, kicked and beaten." At least two Charlotte TV stations rejected the ad, which includes images of poultry treatment on North Carolina farms. The stations called the ad too graphic.


Daily dose: Anti-abortion crusade continues edition


Bill Requires Longer Waiting Period For Abortion In N.C. (WUNC-FM) -- A pregnant woman seeking an abortion would be required to speak to a medical provider and wait for three days before she can have the procedure under a plan approved by a North Carolina legislative committee on Wednesday. The proposed law, which got its first nod in a House of Representatives committee, would increase abortion wait time from one day and would require physicians to report information about the abortion to state health officials.

Daily dose: Not so Secret Service edition

A Pulitzer for Secret Service reporting (Washington Post) -- For Washington Post reporter Carol Leonnig, (who once was covered N.C. government and politics for the Charlotte Observer) patience, timing and some extraordinary effort paid handsome returns. Leonnig spent months gaining the trust of normally reticent Secret Service agents to produce a series of bombshell stories last year about lapses in presidential security. In the wake of her reporting, which shook the faith in what was commonly viewed as an elite and selfless agency, President Obama replaced more than half of the service’s senior leadership, including its director. On Monday, Leonnig, 49, was awarded journalism’s highest honor, the Pulitzer Prize, for her revelations about the Secret Service.

Daily dose: McCrory's tripping edition


McCrory discloses financing for trips he said he didn’t need to reveal (Raleigh News & Observer) -- NC Gov. Pat McCrory has filed, again, another new ethics disclosure report, which includes eight trips he took last year. McCrory initially didn’t think he needed to report trips like these.

Daily dose: "It's not a tax, it's a fee" edition


GOP hikes for insurance taxes, other fees may pave NC highways (WRAL-TV) -- Saying North Carolina's tax on gasoline is an unreliable source of revenue for the state's highway construction and maintenance program, Republican lawmakers on Thursday rolled out a plan to increase vehicle fees and a tax on automobile insurance coverage to augment gas tax funds.

Daily dose: Modern-day bigot statue to replace ancient bigot statue

Billy Graham honor sparks bitter debate (AP) — A proposal to honor North Carolina favorite son Rev. Billy Graham with a statue in Washington won state House approval Thursday, but not without complaints from Democrats about the process and counter-claims from Republicans that critics had something against Graham.

Graham statue bill leads to angry debate (WRAL-TV) -- A bill naming the Rev. Billy Graham to represent the state at the U.S. Capitol led to angry debate in the state House Thursday after its backers circumvented the standard legislative process.

Daily dose: The truth hurts edition


McCrory gets defensive after Obama’s comments about N.C. public schools (WFAE-FM) – Democratic President Barack Obama’s lament about the declining state of education in North Carolina drew a defensive reaction from Republican Gov. Pat McCrory. "This used to be the state in which the promise of education was understood at the state government level and the reason North Carolina did better economically than many in of the other Mid-Atlantic and Southern states was because of the Research Triangle and the emphasis on education." Obama said. That comment drew the ire of McCrory, who’d spent the day in Washington asking members of Congress to allow oil and gas drilling closer to the state’s seashore and beaches. "I was disappointed to learn that the President used a portion of his quick visit today to unfairly and incorrectly malign our education system," McCrory said in a press release, citing last year’s teacher pay increase – that, in fact, hiked pay for starting teachers but left most teachers with little or no pay increase.

Daily dose: Justice for Nisour Square edition


Blackwater guard sentenced to life in Iraqi shooting (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot) -- Defense lawyers are vowing to appeal the convictions of four former Blackwater security guards after a federal judge handed down lengthy prison terms for their roles in a 2007 shooting of unarmed civilians in Iraq.

Daily dose: Burr's problem with female judges edition


The Most Ridiculously Long Judicial Vacancies (Huffington Post) -- Here's a look at the worst Senate offenders when it comes to not filling long-vacant judgeships in their home states. Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) There's a seat on U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina that's been empty for 3,387 days. That's more than nine years, and it has no nominee. Burr avoided questions from The Huffington Post last year about why he was blocking a previous nominee for the slot, Jennifer May-Parker. His obstruction of May-Parker was particularly puzzling, given that he previously recommended her to Obama.


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