Friday News: The aftermath of HB142

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HB2 REPEAL DEAL WIDELY VIEWED AS BAIT-AND-SWITCH, NOT REAL COMPROMISE: The NCAA had threatened to remove all championship basketball games from the state through 2022 if H.B. 2 was not repealed by Thursday. Because the political and financial cost of such a move would dwarf the billions already lost to the law, on Wednesday night the state’s Republican leadership and the new Democratic governor, Roy Cooper, forged an unholy deal — a kind of bait-and-switch meant to keep NCAA games and their revenue in the Tar Heel State — and sent it to the legislature Thursday, where it was approved with bipartisan support and later signed by Cooper. “It’s not about principle, it’s about the money” was the overall take Thursday morning from the cafe gang of six, which included a real estate agent, an ironworker and a schoolteacher.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/you-cant-compromise-on-civil-rights-but-north-carolina-just-...

Historical context of the rise of HB2 and other discriminatory practices

Barry Yeoman at the Indy spells it out:

House Bill 2 seemed like a bolt from nowhere. One day transgender North Carolinians were living low-profile lives; the next day their most private moments were being bandied about without a modicum of understanding. But the new law was not a bolt from nowhere. It can be understood by examining the decades preceding its passage. If history is a river, then at least three distinct tributaries converged in Raleigh on March 23.

The first is the growing practice by state lawmakers—one that took root during the Reagan era—of slapping back local governments that get too proactive. The second is the successful national Republican effort to seize control of North Carolina's government. And the third is the recent visibility of transgender Americans, their push for legal equality, and the utterly predictable backlash.

Before we continue, a few words on what may be about to happen today. The supposed compromise bill that has emerged is, in some ways, worse than a few of the bills the GOP has floated since last year to repeal HB2. But it's important to understand, those other bills did *not* hit the floor for a vote, without some last-minute alterations that changed them into something different. So before we start whining about what could have been, keep that in mind. We don't really know what could have been, and speculation at this time is pointless. And before anybody starts lining up Democrats for excoriation for supporting this bill, such as a Tweet I just saw calling for a new NCDP Chair election to oust Wayne Goodwin, the responsibility for HB2 and its consequences falls solely on the shoulders of the Republicans who wrote it and passed it. They want this controversy to tear the Democratic Party apart, but we can't allow that to happen. The article continues:

Thursday News: One-way compromise?

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HB2 "DEAL" WOULD CONTINUE PROHIBITION OF TRANSGENDER BATHROOM CHOICE: North Carolina lawmakers could repeal House Bill 2 on Thursday under a deal struck late Wednesday night by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and Republican legislative leaders. Senate leader Phil Berger announced the deal shortly after 10:30 p.m. The announcement capped days of marathon, often contentious negotiations and closed-door meetings. “I support the House Bill 2 repeal compromise that will be introduced tomorrow,” Cooper said in a statement. “It’s not a perfect deal, but it repeals House Bill 2 and begins to repair our reputation.” “The deal proposed would continue to actively discriminate against the LGBT community,” Chris Sgro, executive director of Equality NC, said in a conference call.
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/politics-government/article141566264.html

Coal Ash Wednesday: The legal battle over cleanup costs begins

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Duke Energy is hoping to fleece ratepayers, but the AG's office is watching:

The coal ash costs that Duke Energy seeks to recover are out-of-the-ordinary and very concerning because they may result in large rate increases for consumers. There are important questions that need to be addressed regarding whether all of the costs that Duke Energy seeks to recover were reasonably and prudentially incurred. It would not be appropriate to make important, binding, substantive determinations regarding recovery of these costs in a procedural, accounting-related docket. The Commission should ensure that all of the issues regarding coal ash cost recovery will not be resolved or prejudged until there is a complete evidentiary record in the upcoming rate cases.

Just to bring you up to speed: After the dam failure that allowed a massive amount of toxic coal ash into the Dan River, Duke Energy's other coal ash impoundments have fallen under close scrutiny, and a number of them have been designated for removal and relocation of the ash to a safer storage place. Duke Energy has estimated these various projects could end up costing as much as ten billion, although many experts say that is wildly inflated. The bottom line is, Duke wants to recoup as much of that cost as it can from customers, shielding its stockholders from shouldering the burden. The Attorney General feels otherwise:

Wednesday News: BergerMoore puts on another show

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HB2 DEAL THAT WASN'T REALLY A DEAL FALLS APART, GOP BLAMES COOPER: Tell me if you're heard this one before: "Hey, we have a deal to repeal House Bill 2." That's what Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore announced late Tuesday, only minutes later to admit they only thought they had a deal because Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper flatly denied ever offering some of the provisions the two Republican lawmakers had outlined. House Minority Leader Darren Jackson went so far as to call the Berger/Moore news conference a stunt that was designed to appeal to their conservative base and later lay the blame for any failed repeal on Cooper.
http://www.wral.com/tuesday-wrap-fool-me-five-times-shame-on-who-/16611905/

Tuesday News: "But her e-mails!"

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TRUMP TWEETS IN EFFORT TO DRAG CLINTONS INTO RUSSIA PROBE: President Donald Trump, in a series of tweets Monday evening, asked why former President Bill Clinton and wife Hillary Clinton, who Trump defeated in the 2016 election, are not being investigated for their ties to Russia. Trump concluded his tweets by saying, “Trump Russia story is a hoax.” The House Intelligence Committee, the Senate Intelligence Committee and the FBI have ongoing investigations into Russia’s influence on the 2016 election and the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia. FBI Director James Comey told the House Intelligence Committee last week that it has been investigating possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia since June.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article141145363.html

Tuesday Twitter roundup

When you have "tens" of supporters show up:

I recognize at least two of these guys from activities they took part in around the Triad/Triangle area, so I'd be surprised if any of these folks actually live in Meadows' District.

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