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Friday News: One-trick elephant

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GEORGE HOLDING PUSHES "TAX RELIEF" BILL FOR HURRICANE FLORENCE VICTIMS: With the cleanup from Hurricane Florence just beginning for many residents of North and South Carolina, three congressmen want to provide storm victims with tax relief. Rep. George Holding of Raleigh introduced the Hurricane Florence Tax Relief Act on Thursday in the U.S. House. The bill is co-sponsored by two of Holding’s fellow Republicans, Rep. David Rouzer of Johnston County and Rep. Tom Rice of Horry County in South Carolina. “FEMA has been on the ground for days and billions of dollars in grants and assistance will be made available to individuals and communities,” Holding said in a statement. “But I have concluded that recovering from a storm of this magnitude will also require creative, outside the box solutions.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article218736590.html

Thursday News: That's not how any of this works

TRUMP CONGRATULATES MAN WHO HAD YACHT DEPOSITED IN HIS YARD BY HURRICANE: President Trump gazed in wonder on Wednesday at an elegant yacht that had been washed ashore during Hurricane Florence and now lay shipwrecked against the back deck of a red brick house. “Is this your boat?” Mr. Trump asked the homeowner. When the man shook his head and said “No,” the president turned with a grin and replied, “At least you got a nice boat out of the deal.” Across the street, where Mr. Trump came across the beached yacht, he told reporters that the homeowner had complained that his insurance company was balking at covering the cost of the damage. “We’re going to find out the name of the insurance company,” Mr. Trump declared. “They don’t know whose boat that is,” he added. “What’s the law? Maybe it becomes theirs.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/19/us/politics/trump-carolina-visit-hurricane.html

Wednesday News: False Prophets

FRANKLIN GRAHAM SAYS SEXUAL ASSAULT BY KAVANAUGH "NOT RELEVANT": Evangelist Franklin Graham said sexual assault accusations against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh from when he was a teenager are “not relevant” and that the U.S. Senate should confirm his nomination. Graham made the remarks in an interview Tuesday with the Christian Broadcasting Network. Asked by the CBN interviewer what kind of message his remarks send to sexual abuse victims, Graham replied: “Well, there wasn’t a crime that was committed. These are two teenagers and it’s obvious that she said no and he respected it and walked away.” According to an article published by the Washington Post Sunday, Christine Blasey Ford said when they were in high school in the early 1980s, “Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed on her back and groped her over her clothes, grinding his body against hers and clumsily attempting to pull off her one-piece bathing suit and the clothing she wore over it.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/article218630640.html

Tuesday News: Dreading the inevitable

FLOODING IN SOUTHEAST NC WILL PEAK TODAY AS RIVERS REACH RECORD LEVELS: As the days drag on, Hurricane Florence has taken this deceptive turn: The violent winds that rattled shingles off houses and tore down trees have subsided, and the pounding rain has eased, lulling many in the storm's path into believing they've already weathered the worst of it — even as rivers quietly churn and continue to rise. The storm has claimed at least 25 lives as of Monday evening and an untold number of homes on its slow march across North Carolina, inundating city after city : Wilmington, New Bern, Lumberton. Now authorities are warning that by the time the Cape Fear River in Cumberland County crests Tuesday at 62 feet (19 meters) — 27 feet (8 meters) over its flood stage — it will threaten to swamp anything within a mile on either side of it. Its tributary, the Little River, is expected to flood, too. More than 7,000 people were ordered to evacuate by Sunday afternoon. But many, weary of a storm that's lingered on and on, did their own rough calculus of the odds and decided to stay.
https://www.wral.com/north-carolina-residents-consider-fleeing-as-rivers-rise/17852063/

Monday News: Relentless

NC'S DEATH TOLL RISES TO 11 AS RAINFALL RAISES RIVERS TO RECORD LEVELS: Eleven people have died in North Carolina because of Hurricane Florence, and Gov. Roy Cooper urged residents Sunday to beware of treacherous flash flooding for days to come. “As this storm continues to churn through North Carolina, it has dumped more than two feet or more in many places,” Cooper said. He said that’s enough to inundate areas that have never flooded before. Forecasters expected the heaviest rainfall in the southeast and Sandhills through Sunday night, but said there is a high risk for flash flooding from the coast to the western mountains. Some rivers , including the Cape Fear, Lumber, Neuse, Yadkin and portions of the Rocky River and South Fork of the Catawba River, are expected to crest at new record levels, breaking those set during Hurricane Matthew.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/article218496770.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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INDEPENDENT REPORTING IS A BEDROCK OF DEMOCRACY, NOT "FAKE NEWS": These days when a president utters out-and-out falsehoods, the reporting that identifies the errors, verifies the accurate information and seeks to correct the record, is condemned and labeled “fake news.” News you do not like is not “fake news.” Not liking something; being embarrassed or uncomfortable at being held accountable, doesn’t make REAL news anything less. The first obligation of journalists is to be fair to the facts – and making sure they are presented accurately, transparently and so citizens understand them. Independent news reporting is a bedrock value of American democracy. For those who don’t like it, stop calling it “fake news.” It is nothing of the sort. Rather than fighting those shedding light on falsehoods, it would be better to foster a closer relationship with the truth.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-independent-reporting-is-a-bedrock-of-democracy-not-fake-news-/17836631/

Saturday News: Twitter to the rescue?

NEW BERN DEVASTATED BY STORM SURGE FROM FLORENCE BACKING UP RIVERS: An ominous tweet appeared on a historic North Carolina community's Twitter feed about 2 a.m. Friday. It came as rivers swelled, tides crested and the rain wouldn't stop. And that's when people found themselves trapped in their homes as the water rose. "WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU," the tweet said. "You may need to move up to the second story, or to your attic, but WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU." The city of about 29,000, which was founded in the early 1700s and was briefly the state capital, is near the North Carolina coast and is bordered on the east and south, respectively, by two rivers. When Florence started battering eastern North Carolina with record rainfall, the Neuse and Trent rivers began to swell — and combined with high tide, made for dangerous flooding. Roberts, the city spokeswoman, said preliminary estimates show about 4,300 residences and 300 commercial buildings had been damaged. She said that count is expected to increase significantly.
https://www.wral.com/-the-water-kept-rising-residents-overwhelmed-by-flooding/17845078/

Friday News: Gee, thanks

ICE PROMISES NOT TO ROUND UP IMMIGRANTS FLEEING FROM FLORENCE: Immigrants in North Carolina and South Carolina shouldn’t worry about being arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement as they evacuate their homes or at the emergency shelters, an ICE spokesperson said Wednesday. Bryan Cox, spokesperson for ICE in the southern region, said everyone should follow local evacuation orders during Hurricane Florence. “Our highest priority remains the preservation of life and safety,” Cox said in an email. “In consideration of these circumstances, there will be no immigration enforcement initiatives associated with evacuations or sheltering related to Florence, except in the event of a serious public safety threat.” Hurricane Florence has forced more than 1 million residents in the Carolinas and Virginia to evacuate their homes.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/article218334165.html

Thursday News: Here we go again...

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GOP CONTEMPLATES SPECIAL SESSION AFTER HURRICANE FLORENCE: Both Bell and Senate Finance Chairman Harry Brown said a session would deal only with disaster relief. The Republican majority that controls the General Assembly has a history, though, of dropping surprise legislation into special legislative sessions. They came back into session in December 2016 to pass some $200 million in disaster relief for Hurricane Matthew, then also passed legislation limiting incoming Gov. Roy Cooper's powers. This time, "if we come back into session, it will be for disaster recovery only," said Bell, R-Wayne. Brown, R-Onslow, said he couldn't think of anything else the legislature would take up. “I would think [disaster relief] would be the only thing," he said. The General Assembly already plans to come back into session after Thanksgiving to flesh out implementation language for any constitutional amendments that pass during the Nov. 6 elections.
https://www.wral.com/lawmakers-prep-for-special-session-if-needed-after-florence/17837427/

Wednesday News: Not-so-deep state

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MARK MEADOWS DEVELOPS CONSPIRACY THEORIES TO PROTECT TRUMP: On Sept. 5, a week after a closed-door interview between Ohr and the House Oversight Committee, Meadows sent a letter asking the Justice Department to review Ohr’s contacts with Steele. But even before that request, Meadows was floating a theory for his supporters to consider. “Here are some key facts you need to know about Bruce Ohr to understand why he is important to our investigation,” Meadows wrote in an email newsletter. “Bruce Ohr’s wife, Nellie Ohr, worked for Fusion GPS — which was the firm hired by the Clinton campaign to write the dossier. Bruce Ohr gave the dossier to the FBI. The FBI then used the same dossier to spy on the Trump campaign.” But as PolitiFact noted in a fact-check of conservative pundit Hugh Hewitt about Jordan’s theory, there is no evidence that Nellie Ohr personally routed the dossier to the Justice Department.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article218184400.html

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