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Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


CONGRESS, DO YOUR JOB: REIN IN TRUMP'S EXCESSES: Bombs – very real explosive devices – are being delivered to the homes and workplaces of the United States’ most prominent leaders. Rather than focusing on assuring the safety and security of the American people, President Trump lies about who’s to blame. Instead of directly contacting former public servants to assure them the government is taking all possible steps to protect them and capture those responsible, the president’s further inflaming the public discourse. The toxic divide-to-conquer campaign is fomented by a president who leads a dysfunctional executive branch of government. It is not understatement, given this evidence, to say the safety and security of the nation is at risk. His toxic brand of politics brings out the worst in Americans.

Saturday News: Like a bad penny


TRUMP AND HIS FANS PUT ON ANOTHER SAD DISPLAY IN CHARLOTTE: “The media’s constant unfair coverage, deep hostility and negative attacks only serve to drive people apart and to undermine healthy debate,” he said. The rally was to campaign for Republican candidates Mark Harris and Rep. Ted Budd. Trump said he needs their help in Washington to what he called getting the job done, from tax cuts to border security and affordable healthcare. Following this rally, supporters seemed to be energized by what they heard. Angela Leson said she and her sister love Trump. “We support him 100 percent,” she said. Jerel Miller, wearing a “Make America Great Again” cap, said he enjoyed the rally. Although many of Trump’s comments are “repeated over and over again,” Rick Horton said, “it’s not a lot of new stuff, but it’s good stuff.”

Friday News: She's not here


MARGARET SPELLINGS ON THE WAY OUT AT UNC SYSTEM: North Carolina's public university board is holding an emergency session amid news reports that Margaret Spellings is leaving as president of the state's 17-campus system. In a statement, the University of North Carolina Board of Governors said it would hold an emergency session Friday morning to "consider an executive personnel matter." Spellings is halfway through the five-year contract she started in March 2016. The former member of President George W. Bush's cabinet was selected after the Republican-majority North Carolina university board forced out her predecessor, who got the job under Democratic control. Some power brokers in the Republican-dominated state legislature saw her national reputation as giving her too much independence.

Thursday News: Isn't it ironic, don't you think?


BLACK REPUBLICAN THREATENED BY WHITE SUPREMACISTS AT CHARLOTTE POLLING PLACE: In an interview with the (Raleigh) News & Observer Wednesday night, Partee said he arrived at the polling place around 2:30 p.m. when a fellow volunteer pointed out the three people in the parking lot who had been taking photos that day and previously. Partee, who is a retired homicide detective from New York, said he decided to take down the license plate number of their car — but before he could, the man with the apparent gun jumped out of the car and confronted him. “He said something about being a Republican, I said I am a Republican, he said ‘Motherf***** you ain’t s***,’” Partee said. “They didn’t care whether I was a Democrat or a Republican, they just cared that I was black.”

Wednesday News: Welcome to Absurdistan


DAN FOREST MAKES A "HOW TO" VIDEO ON VOTER FRAUD: Forest, a Republican, is not up for election this fall – his second term runs through 2020. However, he has been a strong proponent of requiring voters to show a photo identification at the polls, and a proposal that would write voter ID into the state constitution is on the ballot. The video, titled Voter Fraud 101, was promoted on Facebook and paid for by the NC Republican Council of State Committee, a political action committee chaired by Forest and largely funded by Greg Lindberg, a major political donor currently under federal investigation. Although Facebook doesn't release targeting information in its online ad archive, data from ProPublica’s Facebook Political Ad Collector shows that some of those targets included North Carolinians interested in President Donald Trump.

Tuesday News: Financing despotism


ALLEGED "SOCIAL WELFARE" PAC HAS TIES TO TIM MOORE AND HOUSE GOP: Two years ago, the Carolina Leadership Coalition launched with the stated mission of promoting social welfare by advocating for economic development, innovative education strategies, lower taxation and limited government. But the group’s website and social media accounts show it wants to keep Republicans in control of the state House, where they have a super majority, with lengthy critiques of House Democratic candidates that include brushes with the law, legal disputes and their criticisms of the NRA. Two officials with the coalition also have key roles with Citizens for North Carolina, a political action committee supporting House Republicans. Within a month of the 2016 general election, the coalition gave two donations totaling $175,000 to the PAC. Two other coalition officials are identified as political allies of House Speaker Tim Moore from his home county. The coalition, PAC, and House Republicans also use the same businesses to raise money and produce campaign ads.

Monday News: The other green economy


GROWING NUMBER OF NC LEADERS SUPPORT DECRIMINALIZATION OF MARIJUANA: Business leaders were more pro-marijuana than some of their political counterparts. Former Bank of America CEO Hugh McColl said decriminalizing marijuana is the single biggest thing North Carolina could do to reduce crime, and the presidents of the Charlotte and Asheville chambers of commerce, Bob Morgan and Kit Cramer, both said the state should legalize and tax it. Others in the survey spoke of the racial implications of marijuana laws, which are often unevenly enforced by the police. Numerous scientific studies have found that white and black people report using marijuana and other drugs at similar rates, yet black people are significantly more likely to be arrested and to be incarcerated for marijuana specifically, as well as for drug crimes in general. “The criminalization of marijuana possession is the equivalent of a throw down gun that the police can use when it is convenient to remove people they consider undesirable,” said James Coleman, a professor at Duke University School of Law,

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


DOES THE NC GOVERNOR STILL HAVE ANY POWER? NOT IF THE LEGISLATURE HAS ITS WAY: “We’re strongly urging all North Carolinians to reject this backdoor effort that would lead to manipulation and cronyism in an institution that must remain fair, independent and impartial.” As McCoy noted, the amendment could lead to court packing to shift the balance of the court. Democrats have a 4-3 majority on the N.C. Supreme Court. If that holds after the November election, Republicans could add two seats with candidates named by the legislature. Republicans have denied they have any such plan but that would be consistent with their previous actions, including cutting three seats on the N.C. Court of Appeals to reduce Gov. Cooper’s chances of making appointments to the second-highest court. Republican legislators say the constitutional amendment is needed to take the politics out of judicial appointments. Excuse us if we —and the former governors and chief justices — are skeptical of their motives. This constitutional amendment would make any flaws in the current system worse. It should be rejected.

Saturday News: Carrion birds of a feather


TRUMP TO HEADLINE CHARLOTTE RALLY FOR MARK HARRIS: President Donald Trump will campaign in Charlotte next week for Republican 9th Congressional District candidate Mark Harris, a senior state GOP official said Friday. Trump will be in the Queen City next Friday for a 7 p.m. rally at Bojangles' Coliseum. Harris, who knocked off Congressman Robert Pittenger in the Republican primary in May, faces Democrat Dan McCready and Libertarian Jeff Scott in the upcoming election. Democrats view the seat as a potential flip for them as they seek to erode some of the GOP dominance in the U.S. House. A recent poll commissioned by the conservative Civitas Institute showed McCready with a 4-point lead, but the results were within the margin of error, meaning it remains a toss-up.

Friday News: Unfair and partial


NC REPUBLICAN ELECTION OFFICIAL RESIGNS AFTER LOONY FACEBOOK RANT: Cornelia Cree, a Republican member of the Haywood County Board of Elections, submitted her resignation late Tuesday at the urging of GOP party leaders. A vote to remove her from office was on the Wednesday agenda for the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement, but the item was removed shortly before the meeting. In Cree's Facebook post, dated Sept. 18 but deleted Wednesday, she asserted that Democrats are seeking "the legalization of pedophilia" to protect the Catholic Church and that "Democrats push open borders because the largest group of illegals are Catholic which statistically vote Democrat." In addition to being offensive to several groups of people, the post is also illegal under state law, which governs elections officials' public conduct.


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