Daily dose

Monday News: Theocracy

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DAN FOREST WANTS TO PREACH HIS WAY INTO GOVERNOR'S MANSION: In his speech, Forest encouraged the congregation to get involved in politics. He suggested that the Bible predicted the current political polarization and that God would “heal” the country if Christians prayed for forgiveness. He compared current culture to 2 Timothy Chapter 3 of the Bible which, in the New International Version translation, says “There will be terrible times in the last days.” He offered his assessment of multiculturalism shortly after mentioning Satan’s intentions to divide the country. And then he outlined his hope for the nation. If “Christians will humble ourselves and turn from our wicked ways and get on our knees and ask a loving and forgiving God to forgive us, he promises to heal our land. And he promises that he’ll give us a better land,” Forest said.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article232077907.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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SPEAKER MOORE'S OPPOSITION TO MEDICAID EXPANSION IS PREJUDICED FANTASY: To take Moore’s word for it, people who can’t afford health care are dodging work and looking for a free ride. First, the poor who earn below the poverty level and cannot or do not work ALREADY qualify for Medicaid. Second, Nearly all of the North Carolinians who would qualify for Medicaid under expansion DO HAVE JOBS. Many work hard at more than one. It is just that the jobs are so low paying, these families barely earn above the poverty level. Still, they earn too much to qualify for the current program. These are people live day-to-day at the edge of a financial cliff. These families are just one missed paycheck, or serious health event, away from economic calamity. They are Moore’s neighbors – more than 6,000 in Cleveland County. They are Senate leader Phil Berger’s neighbors too. There are 16,300 in the four counties he represents.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-speaker-moore-s-opposition-to-medicaid-expansion-is-prejudiced-fantas...

Saturday News: Misplaced priorities

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GOVERNOR COOPER VETOES GOP STATE BUDGET: One day after state lawmakers approved a $24 billion budget for the fiscal year that starts next week, Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed the plan Friday. "This budget, as written, doesn't move us forward," Cooper said at an Executive Mansion news conference as he was surrounded by dozens of Democratic lawmakers and others. "I want to sign a budget that will move us forward." Republicans lost their veto-proof majorities in both the House and the Senate last fall, and although a handful of Democrats in both chambers voted for the bill, Republicans would have to pull at least four more House Democrats over to their side to override the veto. House Minority Leader Darren Jackson said Democratic lawmakers are united behind Cooper and will sustain his veto in a potential override attempt. Sens. Floyd McKissick, D-Durham, Ben Clark, D-Hoke, and Don Davis, D-Pitt, who all voted for the budget this week, were at the news conference.
https://www.wral.com/cooper-vetoes-state-budget-calling-it-an-astonishing-failure/18479819/

Friday News: Logical fallacies

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REPUBLICANS SAY COURT DECISION IS VICTORY FOR VOTERS (WHO ARE BEING MARGINALIZED): When it comes to drawing maps, U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan said legislators are more easily held accountable than judges. “We want elected representatives who are accountable to the people making decisions on district lines, not unelected bureaucrats,” the Ohio Republican said. U.S. Rep. Mark Walker, a North Carolina Republican, suggested the gerrymandering complaint was part of disingenuous “sue till blue” strategy by Democrats. The Supreme Court ruling, which overturned a lower court’s decision, “is a rebuke of the activist judges who attempt to make laws, win elections and suppress the voices of voters from the bench.” N.C. Rep. David Lewis, a Republican from Harnett County, called the ruling “a complete vindication of our state and of the fair and open process that we ran.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article232017482.html

Thursday News: Say what?

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GOP BUDGET GIVES $1.5 MILLION TO DAN FOREST TO STUDY DRONES: Half of the $1.5 million would go toward studying the potential for drones and eVTOL aircraft use in North Carolina. The lieutenant governor’s office is instructed to interview “leaders in aviation, telecommunications, education, health care, transportation, fuel technologies, emergency management, military, agriculture, planning, and venture capital to determine opportunities” for those aircraft systems. The other half of the money is to “organize and convene a summit.” But the money may be used to hire staff, consultants and vendors to conduct the study. An interim report on the study would be due to a legislative committee by next April and more complete research would be due to the eVTOL summit by October 2020. The demand to operate eVTOL vehicles in North Carolina is unclear.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article231981907.html

Wednesday News: Common sense prevails

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CONTROVERSIAL WIND ENERGY BAN REMOVED FROM LEGISLATION: A freeze on new wind turbines the Senate approved for wide swaths of the state is gone from a new proposal on regulating wind turbines. House and Senate negotiators removed the moratorium the Senate approved in Senate bill 377 and added an addition to the state permitting process by requiring the state to ask for more information from military commanders. Companies that want to erect wind turbines must already seek local, state and federal approval. The bill approved by a House committee Tuesday was described as a compromise between the House and Senate. It is a drastic change from the ban on wind turbines Sen. Harry Brown, a Jacksonville Republican, first proposed.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article231930593.html

Tuesday News: White Supremacist playbook

NC SENATE PASSES ICE BILL THAT COULD REMOVE BLACK SHERIFFS: HB370 has a provision for the removal from office of sheriffs who do not cooperate with the ICE on the detainers. Cooper, in a statement released from his office mid-afternoon, said dangerous criminals can already be locked up and prosecuted, but that the bill was “about scoring political points and using fear to divide us.” The Rev. Anthony Spearman, the president of the state NAACP, said during the morning press conference that the legislation was meant to target the black sheriffs. He called it “a tactic straight off the pages of the white supremacist playbook.” He said voters in the counties that elected the sheriffs “have all said that we want sheriffs who will not be slaves to the immigration and enforcement authorities that tear this nation apart.”
https://www.journalnow.com/news/local/n-c-senate-approves-ice-cooperation-bill-paul-lowe-a/article_1...

Monday News: Of the people...

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DURHAM'S PARTICIPATORY BUDGETING INCLUDES LGBTQ YOUTH CENTER: Durham’s first foray into letting residents decide how their tax dollars are spent will help fund four new city-wide projects, including an LGBTQ Youth Center. For Asher Skeen, a 20-year-old transgender man, having a center could mean everything to local LGBTQ youth, if it’s done right. “I think the biggest thing that the city of Durham should do is to listen to the voices of queer youth and people in the community and ask them what they need,” Skeen said. “What [do] they need out of the space? What would make it helpful and a good place to go?” Durham is the second city in the state behind Greensboro to offer participatory budgeting. Greensboro started its program in 2014 and divvies up $500,000 among its five city council districts.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/article231762338.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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MOORE & BERGER ARE FLAT-OUT WRONG. COMPROMISE, EXPAND MEDICAID NOW: It is cruel and thoughtless to deny health care to North Carolina citizens most in need but least able to get it. North Carolina legislative leaders continue to parrot canned talking points from hyper-partisan organizations to justify their opposition to expanding Medicaid. They did it again this week in a letter to Gov. Roy Cooper. These groups, like the legislative leadership, reflexively despise anything initiated by former President Barack Obama – no matter the benefits that might be gained or the hardship their bias inflicts. A large majority of North Carolina voters support expanding Medicaid. Remember, Medicaid expansion comes at relatively little cost to the state. Thirty-seven states have done it. Federal taxes collected here are paying for expansion in those states.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-moore-berger-flat-out-wrong-compromise-expand-medicaid-now/18464552/

Saturday News: Oh, Cabarrus...

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LARRY PITTMAN COMPARES LINCOLN TO HITLER FOR INVADING "SOVEREIGN" SOUTH: It started when N.C. legislator Larry Pittman compared Republican U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis to a Democrat.It escalated after Tillis’ wife responded. And it boiled over Thursday when Pittman compared President Abraham Lincoln to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler — for the second time since 2017. “It was only a matter of numbers,” Pittman wrote on Facebook, responding to another Facebook user. “Lincoln was responsible for the unnecessary deaths of 800,000 Americans. Hitler was responsible for millions more. Both unjustly invaded and subjugated sovereign nations.” N.C. House leaders took a rare public stance against one of their own Thursday as they condemned Pittman, a Republican firebrand from Cabarrus County who has become known for making controversial remarks.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article231792543.html

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