Wednesday News: Time to testify


MCCREADY BLASTS HARRIS OVER ABSENTEE BALLOT FRAUD: "We don't know if he stole hundreds of votes or thousands of votes," he said, citing affidavits filed in the investigation that the elections board has made public so far that allege Dowless was seen with hundreds of absentee ballots and that he had crews of people going door to door collecting ballots. "One thing we know is that this all goes to the very top of Mark Harris' campaign," McCready said. Dowless' actions in elections have been scrutinized for years, and McCready said he heard rumors last fall of shenanigans Dowless was involved in during the 9th District campaign. "We're responsible for our actions. I'm responsible for what my people do or don't do," he said. "I only see two options here: Either Mark Harris knew what was going on, or he turned a blind eye to fraud and built a culture of corruption in his campaign."

PITTMAN AND SPECIALE PARTY WITH CONFEDERATE GROUPS: Protesters shouting “Black Lives Matter” were waiting for legislators and legislative staff Tuesday night outside a reception at the United Daughters of the Confederacy house in downtown Raleigh. The reception hosted by the North Carolina Division of Sons of Confederate Veterans and the protest come during the ongoing debate over Confederate monuments on public property. A handful of legislators arrived at the reception in the first half-hour, including Rep. Larry Pittman of Cabarrus County and Rep. Michael Speciale of New Bern. As the legislators left the reception, a group of Confederate hosts escorted them across the street while a protester who would not give his full name yelled that the monuments were going to come down. One man left the party and approached a protester. As he walked away, he showed the protester his middle finger.

ICE RAIDS GUN MANUFACTURER IN SANFORD, 30 EMPLOYEES TAKEN INTO CUSTODY: Authorities say approximately 30 people have been taken into custody after a raid by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents at a North Carolina manufacturing plant. A statement from the Lee County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday said the raid on the plant in Sanford was the result of an ongoing investigation into identity theft and fraud. The statement said the sheriff's office assisted ICE agents at the request of federal officials. The statement didn't identify the plant, adding that it is unclear if the plant is at fault. Also, the sheriff's office said the raid was not a random operation.

ANTI-IMMIGRANT NUTTERS PLEASED WITH TRUMP SOTU: “The speech was vintage President Trump, no talk about amnesty, but rather a focus on the most important stakeholders in U.S. immigration policy — the American people,” said RJ Hauman, the government relations director at FAIR who is in regular discussions with the administration. Conservative immigration groups -- Federation for American Immigration Reform and Center for Immigration Studies, among them -- had been increasingly worried over the last several weeks about the direction of negotiations among lawmakers and between Congress and the White House. While they might have preferred Trump offer specifics in his speech, such as a mandatory worker verification program and cuts to family migration, it was what he didn’t say that these conservative activists cheered; Trump did not offer protections for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants brought to America illegally as children. (dreamers)

FACT-CHECKING TRUMP'S STATE OF THE UNION: “The U.S. economy is growing almost twice as fast today as when I took office, and we are considered far and away the hottest economy anywhere in the world.” This is false. The American economy expanded at an annual rate of 3.5 percent in the third quarter of 2018. Growth in Latvia and Poland was almost twice as fast. Same for China and India. Even the troubled Greek economy posted stronger growth. And a wide range of economic analysts estimate that the growth of the American economy slowed in the fourth quarter, and slowed even further in the first month of 2019. “We recently imposed tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods — and now our Treasury is receiving billions and billions of dollars.” This is true. Since Mr. Trump imposed tariffs on certain imports from China — and imported steel and aluminum from around the world — federal tariff revenues have increased. Revenues from customs duties, which include tariffs, rose by $13 billion in the third quarter of 2018 compared with a year earlier, the Commerce Department reported. Technically, that money is paid by Americans who bring the goods across the border, and it is often passed on to American consumers in the form of higher prices. “We have created 5.3 million new jobs and importantly added 600,000 new manufacturing jobs — something which almost everyone said was impossible to do, but the fact is, we are just getting started.”
This is false. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that since January 2017, when Mr. Trump took office, the economy has added 4.9 million jobs, including 454,000 jobs manufacturing jobs. Far from being “impossible,” that is closely comparable to the pace of job creation during some two-year periods during the Obama administration, and significantly slower than the pace of job creation in manufacturing in the 1990s.