Daily dose

Wednesday News: They went to Jared

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KUSHNER'S CONTACTS WITH FOREIGN OFFICIALS PROMPTS SECURITY CLEARANCE DOWNGRADE: Officials in at least four countries have privately discussed ways they can manipulate Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, by taking advantage of his complex business arrangements, financial difficulties and lack of foreign policy experience, according to current and former U.S. officials familiar with intelligence reports on the matter. Kushner’s interim security clearance was downgraded last week from the top-secret to the secret level, which should restrict the regular access he has had to highly-classified information, according to administration officials. Special Counsel Robert Mueller has asked people about the protocols Kushner used when he set up conversations with foreign leaders, according to a former U.S. official.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article202473529.html

Tuesday News: Stopped clock version

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SUPERINTENDENT MARK JOHNSON OPPOSES ARMING TEACHERS IN CLASSROOMS: North Carolina's schools chief is opposed to arming teachers in classrooms, an idea President Donald Trump and some legislators in North Carolina and other states have suggested following the shootings at a Florida high school that killed 17 people. Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson said Monday he supports the General Assembly increasing money to hire more law enforcement officers in the schools. But Johnson says in a release teachers should not be asked to take on the "massive responsibility" of having firearms in the classroom. He says he's been working to reduce burdens on teachers. A North Carolina House committee has been formed to evaluate school safety and how it can be improved. Johnson says firearms on school grounds should be in the hands of trained, uniformed law-enforcement professionals.
http://www.wral.com/north-carolina-schools-chief-opposed-to-arming-teachers/17375397/

Monday News: Just say "No!"

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TRUMP ADMIN TO HOLD PUBLIC OFFSHORE DRILLING MEETING IN RALEIGH TODAY: The federal government's only scheduled public meeting in North Carolina to discuss expanding oil and gas exploration off the Atlantic coast and in other waters is expected to attract busloads of people opposing the idea. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is holding local events across the country about a proposal by President Donald Trump's administration to open more waters to drilling. The North Carolina meeting starts Monday afternoon at a Raleigh hotel. Several environmental groups fighting expansion are helping bring residents from the Outer Banks, Wilmington and elsewhere to rally and to speak with agency representatives. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper is adamantly opposed to offshore drilling and has threatened litigation unless North Carolina is left out. Top state Republicans, including former Gov. Pat McCrory, generally have supported offshore expansion.
http://www.wral.com/federal-gov-t-holds-n-carolina-meeting-on-drilling-proposal/17373633/

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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STAND WITH NC OR STAY IN BED WITH THE NRA? The National Rifle Association has spent $11.6 million in North Carolina congressional elections – almost all of it on Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis. That’s around $682,000 for each of the dead in Parkland, Florida. It is $79,710 for each of the 138 school house dead nationwide since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. The NRA’s investment has paid off — to the benefit of gun manufacturers. Sales of non-essential military-style assault weapons skyrocketed. Meanwhile, the lavish campaign spending effectively thwarted any reasonable, constitutional laws to keep these inappropriate and dangerous weapons away from the public. This is not about doing away with the 2nd Amendment or in any way limiting anyone’s right to hunt. It is about common sense. It is about representing the voters of the state – a majority of whom support a ban on assault weapons.
http://www.wral.com/editorial-stand-with-nc-or-stay-in-bed-with-the-nra/17355270/

Saturday News: "Help! I'm being oppressed!"

COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST NC GOP SPURS DALLAS TO WAIL ABOUT "POLICE POWERS": The North Carolina Democratic Party asked Attorney General Josh Stein’s office to investigate a recorded call state Republican Party Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse made to registered Republicans seeking candidates for office. The attorney general’s consumer division sent the state GOP a letter Wednesday asking for a response to the complaint and proposed resolution. Stein and the Democratic Party are trying to intimidate Republicans, Woodhouse said. They “attempted to use the full weight and police powers of the North Carolina Department of Justice to intimidate its rival political party, the Republicans, from making calls to voters and asking them to run for office,” Woodhouse said. Laura Brewer, Stein’s spokeswoman, said Woodhouse is overreacting. “There is no merit to any of these hysterical claims,” she said in an email.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article201895974.html

Friday News: Ineffective and incompetent

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MOORE SAYS NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO DEBATE GUNS, CAN'T WE LOCK THE SCHOOL DOORS? “Folks want to try to drag the gun debate into it,” Moore said in the television interview. “Look, that’s a discussion for another time.” The state Democratic Party condemned Moore for rejecting a debate about guns. “Speaker Moore’s tone-deaf comments are shocking and infuriating,” NC Democratic Party Executive Director Kimberly Reynolds said in a statement. “We have a gun epidemic in this country that nearly every American wants to seriously address, yet one of the most powerful legislators in our state is shutting the door on common sense reforms just days after the Parkland shooting.” Moore told journalists Thursday he wanted to focus on solutions that can win support from both sides. "We can agree, for example, that we need to enhance the security of the schools. If somebody shouldn’t be in the school, by golly they ought to not be able to get in. Is there a way that doors can lock better?”
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article201630399.html

Thursday News: Because the Constitution

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GOP FACES ANOTHER LAWSUIT OVER FOUR WAKE COUNTY DISTRICTS: Attorneys for the state NAACP, League of Women Voters, Democracy North Carolina, the A. Philip Randolph Institute and four named voters want the courts to change four Wake County districts back to what they looked like in 2011. That was before the GOP majority was forced to redraw the state's House and Senate election maps in a federal case brought by much the same legal team and which found racial gerrymanders in a number of districts statewide. The plaintiffs' lawyers in that case argued repeatedly that Republican legislators violated the North Carolina Constitution in that redraw because they changed district lines they didn't have to. Absent a court order, the state constitution forbids redrawing districts more than once a decade, a process undertaken after the U.S. census produces new population numbers. Attorneys argued Republican leaders didn't have to redraw the four Wake County House districts targeted in this latest case to address the previous racial gerrymander. Those four districts are 36, 37, 40 and 41.
http://www.wral.com/injunction-sought-could-delay-legislative-primaries-in-wake/17360781/

Wednesday News: Not-so-silent Sam

UNC WARNS OF POTENTIAL WHITE NATIONALIST RALLY ON CAMPUS TODAY: UNC-Chapel Hill officials warned of possible trouble on campus as rumors swirled of a white nationalist rally planned for Wednesday. Kevin Guskiewicz, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, sent a message to deans and department chairs, saying word has spread that “individuals not affiliated with UNC-Chapel Hill” are planning a “Rally for Nationalism.” He did not mention the expected time or location of the rally. But a student activist sent a notice to media calling attention to what they characterized as a neo-Nazi group planning to be on campus Wednesday. The students plan a counterprotest to “unify UNC” at 2 p.m. at the South Building, home to the office of Chancellor Carol Folt and other administrators.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/education/article201207599.html

Tuesday News: PC Police?

CONSERVATIVE DOTARD DEVELOPS USELESS SOLUTION FOR SCHOOL SHOOTINGS: In the wake of a shooting in Florida that left 17 high school students dead, a North Carolina legislator is encouraging people to report suspicious behavior – even if it means defying what he called the “PC police.” State Sen. Ronald Rabin, a Republican from Harnett County, is worried some people won’t report suspicious behavior because they’re afraid of being seen as insensitive, he said in a Facebook post and interview Monday. "All Must call! The problem is that the politically correct police make it a “no-no” to say anything that may hurt feelings or offend anyone in any way,” Rabin posted. He continued: “Folks be alert, watch and report. Law enforcement react. This is the best deterrent to these acts of violence. Do not let the unidentified, ubiquitous PC Police interfere with stopping these heinous acts.”
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/under-the-dome/article20...

Monday News: Tone deaf and self-absorbed

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SHOOTING SURVIVORS BLAST TRUMP FOR USING MASSACRE FOR POLITICAL ATTACKS: Students who escaped the deadly school shooting in Florida are focusing their anger at President Donald Trump, contending that his response to the attack has been needlessly divisive. David Hogg, a 17-year-old student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, said: 'You're the president. You're supposed to bring this nation together, not divide us.' Hogg on "Meet the Press" Sunday was responding to Trump's tweet Saturday that Democrats hadn't passed any gun control measures during the brief time they controlled Congress with a supermajority in the Senate. Trump also alluded to the FBI's failure to act on tips that the suspect was dangerous, while bemoaning the bureau's focus on Russia's role in the 2016 election. After more than a day of criticism from the students, the White House says the president would hold a "listening session" with unspecified students on Wednesday and meet with state and local security officials Thursday.
http://www.wral.com/the-latest-shooting-survivors-plan-march-on-washington/17351678/

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