Donald Trump

Sign the petition: Rescind the RNC 2020 contract for Charlotte

Hat-tip to Jerry Wayne Williamson for leading the charge:

Activists think that the Republican National Convention will give Charlotte a black eye, if not a bloody nose, tarnish it's reputation as a progressive Southern city, roil racial animus, and spark a backlash. Those activists have mounted a petition drive to induce the Charlotte City Council to rescind its invitation. "President Trump’s re-election strategy centers on stoking hatred, resentment, fear, and division. For his personal political benefit, he is determined to stir-up his most ardent supporters in a way that will invariably lead to violence and destruction in our city," the petition reads in part.

You can sign the petition right here, and then spread the word. Charlotte already has enough challenges on the racial front, and the inevitable clash between anti-fascists and white supremacists will push CMPD well past their already questionable tolerance levels.

Tillis & Walker: Two sides of the same coin

And both sides couldn't be more wrong:

Sen. Thom Tillis and Rep. Mark Walker were in attendance Wednesday night at President Trump’s rally in North Carolina, where the crowd’s chant of “send her back!” targeting Somali-born Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) rang in the air unchallenged.

On Thursday, Tillis defended the president, saying he had no control over the crowd and equating the event to a rock concert. Walker, a former pastor who has worked in refugee camps, called the chants offensive and said such rhetoric needs to stop before it defines the Republican Party.

Setting aside Two-Faced Tillis for the moment: Walker, who is supposed to be a religious man, is more concerned about the political consequences to his party than he is the safety and prosperity of the ethnic minorities being targeted in chants like this. Just do a mental exercise for me, and finish this sentence: "Such rhetoric needs to stop before it----" If you came up with "leads to violence" or some variation of that, you are a normal human being with an innate concern for the welfare of others. Now back to Tillis, who has latched onto Trump like a Lone Star tick:

Winston-Salem rally for migrants part of national effort

The humanitarian crisis is only getting worse:

“We as Americans will no longer stay silent when our government is committing atrocities across our land,” Billingsley-Hayes said. “It saddens me (that) in 2019, we have to gather for this reason. Immigrants come to this country for hope and freedom.”

The local rally was part of the Lights for Liberty vigils that were scheduled to take place in 700 communities Friday to highlight conditions in the detention centers. At least five children have died in Border Control custody, or after being released, since December, according to The Associated Press.

How did we get to this point? Comments from a soulless automaton and a feckless coward might shed some light on that:

Separation of Powers: Appeals court rules against Trump diverting funds for border wall

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Congress does not give the President a blank check:

A divided three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco agreed with a lower court ruling that prevented the government from tapping Defense Department counterdrug money to build high-priority sections of wall in Arizona, California and New Mexico.

"As for the public interest, we conclude that it is best served by respecting the Constitution's assignment of the power of the purse to Congress, and by deferring to Congress's understanding of the public interest as reflected in its repeated denial of more funding for border barrier construction," wrote Judges Michelle Friedland, a Barack Obama appointee, and Richard Clifton, a George W. Bush appointee.

Keep in mind, every time the President pulls one of these stunts, he's actually slapping Congress in the face twice. He's spending money on something they didn't want him to, and he's not spending money on something they wanted and authorized. As far as this dissenting opinion:

Coal Ash Wednesday: Trump's EPA bows to industry pressure

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Nixing rule requiring power plants to show financial capability to clean up spills:

The Trump administration said Tuesday that it won't require electric utilities to show they have money to clean up hazardous spills from power plants despite a history of toxic coal ash releases contaminating rivers and aquifers. Environmental Protection Agency officials said Tuesday that modern industry practices and recently enacted regulations are sufficient to shield taxpayers from potential cleanup costs.

The finding comes after the EPA last year reversed a related proposal under President Barack Obama that would have imposed new financial requirements on the hardrock mining industry.

On paper anyway, the difference between "taxpayers" and "ratepayers" is substantial. But in reality, there really isn't much difference. All taxpayers also pay power bills, and when the NCUC bows to Duke Energy demands to raise their rates to pay for spills and safe disposal of coal ash, taxpayers are footing the bill. And this is not an academic exercise:

Appparently Walter Jones' shoes are too big to fill

Both GOP candidates for NC03 are pushovers for Trump:

Both state Rep. Greg Murphy, R-Pitt, and Dr. Joan Perry recently told The Daily Advance they’re willing to defer to President Trump on handling tensions and avoiding war with Iran, although Perry did say she would support Congress holding a formal vote before the president committed any troops to any armed conflict with the Middle Eastern country. Murphy, for his part, believes Trump has the power to initiate military action against Iran. We assume he believes the president enjoys this authority under a nearly two-decades-old authorization to use military force, even though that was adopted to fight terrorism in the wake of 9/11, not wage wars against sovereign nations.

That neither candidate would demand a vote by Congress before Trump committed any U.S. troops to armed combat in Iran shows just how much fear Republicans have of asserting any independence from Trump. Unfortunately, it also suggests we’ve learned nothing since the last time a GOP commander-in-chief was rattling a saber and slowly marching us off to war against a Middle Eastern country.

Bolding mine, because there was at least one man who learned something from the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, and these two candidates are trying to replace him. Back in 2007 Jones tried to pass a bill specifically stopping a sitting President from attacking Iran without a Congressional thumb's-up, and in 2012 he tried to pass a resolution making it an impeachable offense for a President to make war without Congressional approval:

Tillis & Tucker bump heads trying to brown-nose Trump

And it's only going to get worse over the next 10 months:

“Like other conservatives I had my doubts about Mr. Trump,” Tucker said. “Without a policy record, I questioned whether he would govern as a conservative. . . . I could not be more delighted, and frankly amazed, at how he has transformed this country in the last two years.”

Tillis allies don’t buy it. “It is laughable that a charlatan like Garland Tucker thinks he can make this race into a question of who can better support our booming economy under President Trump,” said Jack Pandol, a spokesman for the Senate Leadership Fund. “North Carolina needs a senator who will work with the president – not one . . . now lying to cover his tracks.”

Oh, the irony. Tucker is lying alright, but he's lying about Trump's "transformation" of the country. He has brought us about halfway to the United States depicted in Idiocracy, and clawing back from that is going to be damn near impossible. Also, I kinda hate to see Carter Wrenn devolve once again:

Trump's tax giveaway for the wealthy is squeezing poor college students

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Whether it's a flaw or a feature, it needs to be fixed asap:

A little-noticed provision in President Trump’s sprawling new tax law is treating middle- and low-income college students as if they are trust-fund babies, taxing sizable financial aid packages at a rate first established 33 years ago to prevent wealthy parents from funneling money to their children to lower their tax burdens.

Students with large financial aid packages are finding their nontuition assistance for items such as room and board taxed by as much as 37 percent, even if their family income tax rates are much lower.

Do the math. A poor kid receiving $11,000 a year for room and board is coughing up $4,000 of that in taxes. If that's "winning" I'd hate to see what happens when we start losing. This should not have come as such a surprise to lawmakers, because they've already been raked over the coals for over-taxing survivor benefits for Gold Star families:

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