2ND JUDGE HALTS DEPORTATIONS AS TRUMP ORDER CREATES CHAOS (McClatchy Newspapers) -- Two federal courts ruled late Saturday against part of President Donald Trump’s executive order barring citizens of seven Muslim nations from entering the United States. A federal court in Brooklyn granted a nationwide stay preventing the government from deporting people who arrived with valid U.S. visas. A second judge in Virginia, Leonie M. Brinkema who was appointed by President Bill Clinton to the bench, issued a temporary restraining order preventing the deportation of permanent U.S. residents who arrived at Dulles International Airport outside Washington. http://www.newsobserver.com/news/nation-world/national/article129406304.html
Some North Carolina public education activists are crying foul over a private legislative meet state lawmakers are scheduled to attend with controversial school reformer Michelle Rhee next month.
This week, Policy Watch requested access to next month’s event, but BEST N.C. President & CEO Brenda Berg said no members of the media will be granted access. Berg said such a rule will allow “candid” conversations between participants, which includes an unspecified number of state lawmakers and school stakeholders.
Stating the obvious: If such conversations can only be "candid" if the public is kept in the dark, then maybe those conversations *are* the problem, not the solution these people are looking for. And if you want to see what can happen when those lines are blurred, let's travel to the West Coast and take a look at Sacramento:
BERGER ON FULL REPEAL OF HB2: NOT NOW, NOT EVER (WTVD-TV) -- NC Senate leader Phil Berger said in an interview with Time Warner Cable News Thursday that there are not enough votes in the General Assembly for an outright repeal of the controversial HB2 law that has cost the state millions. "I think the window for that compromise (on repeal of HB2) may not be open at this point. And I certainly don't believe the votes exist for an outright repeal without anything else." Equality NC executive director and former state representative, Chris Sgro, told ABC11 that Sen. Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore aren't looking out for the best interest of North Carolinians. "It's childish. It's not about left, right, or center anymore," said Sgro. "It's about their actions being in a childish fashion that's not best for the people of North Carolina." http://abc11.com/politics/nc-senate-leader-says-support-lacking-for-hb2-repeal/1724973/
David Prickett, who was communications director for the Office of State Human Resources until Jan. 19, claims he was fired by the Democratic administration of Gov. Roy Cooper because he is a Republican. Prickett’s filings also say the Cooper administration didn’t follow proper procedure when it failed to give him 10 days of notice before taking action against him.
“This type of arbitrary or politically motivated dismissal of employees who have done nothing wrong is exactly what our state personnel laws were passed to prevent,” said Prickett’s attorney, Michael C. Byrne, a Raleigh lawyer who represents state workers.
Right. Where was this outrage when the General Assembly decided to give McCrory four times as many political appointments when he took over the previous Perdue administration? Crickets.
Martin will be joined by Jenna Robinson, president of the former Pope Center for Higher Education Policy, a conservative think tank that has been newly renamed for Martin. The change took effect Jan. 1, when the center officially became the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.
On the center’s website, Robinson wrote that confusion between the Pope Center and the Pope Foundation prompted the name change. Both organizations were named for John William Pope but had different missions, she wrote: “The new name will allow us to create our own identity – focused on our mission of academic renewal.”
Yeah, I mean, no. There hasn't been any confusion. They may have (slightly) different missions, but the guiding principles are still the same. And they won't change with a new name, or a new logo, or a new Mission Statement, or whatever other facile tweaks to its appearance you try to make. A thorn by any other name. And just to give you an idea where Jenna Robinson stands on government helping families cope with higher education costs, check this out:
“Look, I just think this is something that needs to be looked at,” he said. “Let’s provide some confidence to the system.” Woodhouse said he’s seen evidence of problems in North Carolina. “We’ve seen voter fraud in North Carolina, it may not be widespread,” he said. “We’ve had two local elections that were thrown out for vote buying and fraud.”
Trump himself has suggested his own election may have been tainted by fraud, a suggestion Woodhouse seems to agree with. The only solution appears to be a thorough investigation and a new presidential election.
For once, the Republicans have a point. If there was fraud, and it appears that voting operations in several swing states were compromised, we should know about it. A national inquiry into voter fraud and illegalities of any kind is called for. I'm confident that such an inquiry would reveal Trump to be in violation of numerous federal laws, resulting in the need for a new election.
BERGER'S REFLEXIVE SOCIAL MEDIA BLASTS STIFLE DIALOGUE (Capitol Broadcasting Co. editorial) -- Senate leader Phil Berger should focus on discussing issues and reaching consensus rather than seeking confrontations via social media. Sen. Berger needs to remember that North Carolina voters support Medicaid expansion -- 63 percent -- and increased funding for public schools. Gov. Cooper did not run in a gerrymandered district. He ran statewide. He has not proposed a "massive tax hike" or "massive budget busting." Someone should take Berger's phone away from him. Maybe he would then talk with the governor about his proposals and see what common ground might be found. It is what North Carolina citizens want and expect from their leaders. Sen. Berger knows that. http://www.wral.com/editorial-berger-s-reflexive-social-media-blasts-stifle-dialogue/16474888/