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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/

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

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

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...

Monday News: Lights in the dark

CANDLELIGHT VIGILS MOURN VICTIMS OF HATRED AND BIGOTRY IN CHARLOTTESVILLE: A candlelight vigil is planned for Monday night in Raleigh to remember the people who were injured and killed during a white nationalist rally on Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia. The Raleigh vigil comes a day after other towns, such as Durham and Cary, held similar gatherings. In Cary, local churches organized a vigil at Good Shephard United Church of Christ. Organizers said they want to show unity in the face of hateful actions in Charlottesville where 32-year-old Heather Heyer died after being hit by a car that was driven into a crowd of counter-protesters. Several hundred people gathered in Durham, too, to take a stand against hatred, organizers said. The Raleigh vigil begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Martin Luther King Memorial Gardens.
http://www.wral.com/candlelight-vigil-to-remember-charlottesville-victims-planned-in-raleigh/16878876/

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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IDEOLOGICAL FEUD IGNORES STUDENTS NEEDS, DAMAGES UNC: It is an ideological feud run amok. The roots are in the clichéd notion that North Carolina’s public universities are incubators of socialist, environmentalist, gender-liberating, non-Christian politics. Ideologues who claim a religious, conformist, free-market mantel are on a crusade to cleanse the halls of academia. And so now the clash has devolved into an on-going battle between out-spoken University of North Carolina Board of Governors member Steve Long and equally outspoken UNC Law School professor Gene Nichol, who advocates on behalf of the financially disadvantaged and for civil rights. As has been too often the case lately, the priorities of the privileged, well-financed special interests are of greater concern than the interest of citizens and the institutions that our legislators in general, and our UNC Board of Governors in particular, are supposed to promote.
http://www.wral.com/editorial-ideological-feud-ignores-student-needs-damages-unc/16867125/

Saturday News: Global chicken hawk

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TRUMP THREATENS MILITARY ACTION IN VENEZUELA OVER CHANGES TO CONSTITUTION: President Donald Trump threatened to take “military action” against Venezuela Friday, a comment that is sure to roil the divided South American nation and alarm its neighbors. Trump made the statement during a press conference on the growing concerns of military action in North Korea, immediately raising the specter of United States intervening in two conflicts simultaneously, including one in our own hemisphere. “Venezuela is a mess,” Trump said, adding. “This is our neighbor. We’re all over the world and we have troops all over the world that are very, very far away. Venezuela is not very far away and the people are suffering. And they’re dying.”
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article166835992.html

Friday News: Inherently corrupt

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NC REPUBLICANS ADOPT REDISTRICTING RULES AIMED AT POLITICAL ADVANTAGE: North Carolina’s legislative leaders adopted rules Thursday that they will use when drawing new election district lines, after 28 districts were ruled unconstitutional last year. The current lines were drawn in a way to unfairly disenfranchise black voters, federal courts found. While racial gerrymandering is illegal, the U.S. Supreme Court has so far allowed political gerrymandering, and one of the new rules is that legislators may consider past election results when drawing the new lines. Rep. David Lewis told a joint meeting of the House and Senate redistricting committees that the process “will be an inherently political thing.”
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/under-the-dome/article16...

Thursday News: Probable cause

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FBI EXECUTES SEARCH WARRANT AT HOME OF FORMER TRUMP ADVISOR PAUL MANAFORT: FBI agents looking for financial documents have searched one of the homes of President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, whose past foreign political work has been swept into the investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election. A Manafort spokesman confirmed the search Wednesday. Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni said in a statement that FBI agents had obtained a warrant and searched one of Manafort's homes, but he would not say when the search occurred or what it was for. Manafort has been a subject of a longstanding FBI investigation into his dealings in Ukraine and work for the country's former president, Viktor Yanukovych. That investigation has been incorporated into the probe led by special counsel Robert Mueller, who is also scrutinizing Manafort's role in the Trump campaign as he looks into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election and any possible collusion with Trump associates.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/national-politics/article166216317.html

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