Possible Ku Klux Klan march in Durham today

What was that about Antifa being the aggressors? Right, shut the hell up:

The Durham County Sheriff’s Office is preparing for a possible march by white supremacist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan marching in Durham today. “The Sheriff’s Office is thoroughly researching the potential of several groups with opposing viewpoints holding demonstrations in Durham,” Sheriff Mike Andrews said in a statement.

City Manager Tom Bonfield said he is unaware of any permit being obtained for a march. Mayor Bill Bell said he was heading to City Hall to get more information.

I hesitated posting this, because I don't want myself or the website to increase the possibility of a violent confrontation. But we're also not in the business of "deciding" what information is healthy for you or not, or in any other way treating our readers like impressionable children who need managing. That being said, *please* be careful, and keep your distance. Some people simply can't be reasoned with.

Friday News: Defending the indefensible

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BERGER WANTS TO KEEP LAW IN PLACE PROTECTING CONFEDERATE MONUMENTS: The North Carolina Senate's top leader is skeptical about scrapping a 2015 law that prohibits permanently removing Confederate monuments from public property, as Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper called for earlier this week. Republican Senate leader Phil Berger wrote in a column released Thursday that "an impulsive decision" to pull down monuments wouldn't be wise. Berger says the legislation sought to reduce politics in decisions about monuments on government property. Cooper said Tuesday it was time to stop glorifying a war fought to defend slavery and worried about public safety following a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia and the toppling of a Confederate monument in Durham.
http://www.wral.com/the-latest-confederate-veteran-group-denounces-cooper-push/16887206/

NC's "hit and kill" bill one of many designed to stifle protests

And of course it was started by Big Oil protecting its profits:

State lawmakers in Florida, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Texas also considered similar measures, which the American Civil Liberties Union nicknamed "hit and kill" bills. The bills were part of a broader package of anti-protest legislation floated in at least 19 states after an upsurge in activism over the last year.

Of the half-dozen states entertaining proposals to shield drivers who hit protesters, North Carolina is the one where it has the best chance of passing. And despite the violence that recently unfolded in Virginia, the bill's sponsors have come to its defense, although its prospects appear to have dimmed.

My reference to Big Oil in the intro has to do with how protesters often use their bodies to block access to pipeline or fracking sites, where contractors have gotten into the habit of just rolling slowly through the crowd, like they're trying to push sheep off the road. But even North Dakota balked at passing such an ill-advised law:

Thursday News: The company you keep

TRUMP'S LAWYER FORWARDS E-MAIL LACED WITH CONFEDERATE PROPAGANDA AND CONSPIRACY THEORIES: President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Wednesday forwarded an email to conservative journalists, government officials and friends that echoed secessionist Civil War propaganda and declared that the group Black Lives Matter “has been totally infiltrated by terrorist groups.” The email forwarded by John Dowd, who is leading the president’s legal team, painted Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in glowing terms and equated the South’s rebellion to that of the American Revolution against England. Its subject line — “The Information that Validates President Trump on Charlottesville” — was a reference to comments Trump made this week in the aftermath of protests in the Virginia college town. “You cannot be against General Lee and be for General Washington,” the email reads, “there literally is no difference between the two men.”
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/nation-world/national/article167661727.html

Cooper's Veto of "Regulatory Reform Act" is right on target

Improving water quality is serious business and requires a thoughtful approach:

Cooper vetoed Senate Bill 16, the Business Regulatory Reform Act of 2017, which seeks to remove regulations in many instances. The bill extends the validity of some wastewater permits issued by local health departments that may have expired, and limits requirements for increased stormwater controls on some new developments.

"We should make it easier, not harder, for state and local governments to protect water quality, whether through stormwater safeguards or by giving public health departments the ability to revisit wastewater permits if needed. Rolling back ways to protect water quality is dangerous," Cooper said in his veto message.

There are two major contributors to the out-of-control nutrient levels in our water resources (especially Lake Jordan): Non-point source contamination (stormwater runoff) and periodic massive discharges of high-concentration wastewater, mostly from municipal treatment facilities. This bill relaxes regulations on both of them, which is exactly the opposite of what should be done. Combine that with the GOP's latest boondoggle of chemical treatment to kill algae, and *at best* you would have a break-even scenario, with no overall improvement in water quality. But it's much more likely the water quality would degrade even further. The only thing Republicans have working in their favor with this formula is the wanton destruction and corporatization of the EPA under Scott Pruitt, so the GOP likely won't get into trouble with the Federal government over this extremely reckless behavior. But they should be in (deep) trouble with the people of North Carolina for doing so.

Wednesday News: Take them down

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GOVERNOR COOPER CALLS FOR REMOVAL OF CONFEDERATE MONUMENTS FROM STATE GROUNDS: Confederate statues should be removed from state property, Gov. Roy Cooper said in a public message Tuesday. He wrote a statement posted to the online publishing platform Medium. “Some people cling to the belief that the Civil War was fought over states’ rights. But history is not on their side,” Cooper wrote. “We cannot continue to glorify a war against the United States of America fought in the defense of slavery. These monuments should come down. Our Civil War history is important, but it belongs in textbooks and museums – not a place of allegiance on our Capitol grounds.”
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article167376167.html

Why the legislature won't kill the education lottery

Back in the day, conservative leaders rightly took Democrats to task when they pushed through the NC Education Lottery. Ignoring progressive voices, the lottery became a major, if unreliable, source for funding public schools. It's been a blight on North Carolina ever since. Four years ago, I wondered out loud what Republicans if Republicans would kill the lottery given their control of the General Assembly.

Tuesday News: Taking out the garbage

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GOVERNOR COOPER REMOVES SEXUALLY-HARASSING MCCRORY APPOINTEE FROM LOTTERY COMMISSION: Gov. Roy Cooper has ousted a state lottery commissioner for what the governor says were "sexually harassing" and "racially insensitive" comments to staff members and others at the N.C. Lottery Commission. Griffin, a Durham real estate company executive, was appointed to the commission in 2016 by then-Gov. Pat McCrory, who made him the chairman. “Your sexually harassing comments directed at Lottery Commission officers, staff and commission members have created a hostile work environment. Female staff members have requested to not meet with you alone. Your racially insensitive comments directed at lottery partners do not represent the values of the governor or the North Carolina Lottery.”
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/under-the-dome/article16...

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