Daily dose

Thursday News: Political gamesmanship

REPUBLICANS GO AFTER AG JOSH STEIN WITH DEEP BUDGET CUTS: North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein was taken by surprise this week when lawmakers he used to work beside as a state senator cut $10 million from the state Department of Justice budget with very specific targets. “This move is as irresponsible as it is short-sighted,” Stein said in a statement released Tuesday, the day after legislative leaders released the $23.03 billion budget to the public. Stein said he was “deeply troubled” that the General Assembly directed his office to “eliminate the attorneys who work to prosecute criminals and keep them behind bars, who save taxpayers millions of dollars by defending against frivolous suits, who keep corporate bad actors in line, and who protect our clean air and water.”
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article157510939.html

Wednesday News: The way the ball bounces

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JON OSSOFF FALLS SHORT OF FLIPPING GEORGIA'S 6TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT: Ossoff’s campaign had nothing if not an abundance of election-obsessed supporters, who helped him raise an unprecedented amount of money and assemble a small army of door-knocking volunteers. Many of them were political neophytes, men and women who once rarely voted but now served as precinct captains and social-media advocates. But Ossoff still lost in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District because his supporters, even when combined with politically moderate independents, couldn’t outnumber Republican partisans. “This is not the outcome many of us were hoping for,” Ossoff told supporters during his concession speech. “But this the beginning of something much bigger than us.”
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article157305869.html

Tuesday News: Prepping for the 2020 "we own the maps" Election

REPUBLICANS PASS MASSIVE TAX CUT TO GO INTO EFFECT IN 2019: The final budget compromise announced by House and Senate leaders Monday would sharply cut personal and corporate income taxes – but the new rates won’t kick in until 2019. “Millions of middle class families will also keep more of their own earnings,” Senate leader Phil Berger said during a news conference Monday, adding that 99 percent of taxpayers will see a tax cut or pay no income taxes under the plan. House Speaker Tim Moore said the change in the standard deduction will mean 95,000 people will no longer owe income taxes. The 5.25 percent personal income tax rate will be “the lowest rate in the Southeast among states that tax earnings,” according to a news release from House Republicans.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article157061604.html

Monday News: Right-wing terrorism

WHITE MAN DRIVES VAN INTO CROWD OUTSIDE LONDON MOSQUE: A white man plowed a van into a crowd of Muslim worshippers outside a north London mosque early Monday in an attack that police say they are investigating as a terrorist incident. Ten people were injured in the attack and police said another man died at the scene, though he was receiving first aid at the time and it wasn't clear if he died as a result of the attack or of something else. "We have a witness saying that the guy who did what he did, the driver of the van, said 'I did my bit,' which means he's not mentally ill," Kacimi said. "This person was conscious. He did what he did deliberately to hit and kill as many Muslims as possible, so he is a terrorist." British security officials, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with official policy, said hate crimes directed at Muslims have increased nearly five-fold in the wake of several attacks in Britain.
http://www.newsobserver.com/latest-news/article156901629.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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STILL TIME TO FIX STATE BUDGET INTO ONE THAT HELPS ALL NORTH CAROLINIANS: Word is that the remaining differences – whatever they might be -- between the N.C. House of Representatives and Senate over the state budget are being worked out by the legislature’s top-most leaders. However, before they wrap things up, lawmakers still have the chance to correct their course on some misguided proposals remaining on the table as well as to incorporate some needs that have been ignored or forgotten. First, stop giving the state’s revenue to people who don’t need it. Continued cuts in the corporate income tax are unnecessary and jeopardize the ability of state government to meet the most basic needs of citizens. Reverse the foolish neglect of public education. Take care of those in need. Reject spiteful cuts to important education programs that help disadvantaged students in the eastern part of the state; Discard mean-spirited cuts to food stamps – that would throw 133,000 people – children and the elderly included – off the program while not saving the state a dime.
http://www.wral.com/editorial-still-time-to-fix-state-budget-into-one-that-helps-all-north-carolinia...

Saturday News: Grifters gonna grift

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TRUMP EARNS TENS OF MILLIONS FROM HOTEL AND RESORT PROPERTIES: The Trump-branded hotel blocks from the White House has quickly generated almost $20 million of income for the Trump Organization while Mar-A-Lago, the private club used as a “Southern White House,” has seen profits climb nearly 25 percent — figures that are sure to fuel ethics advocates’ charges that Donald Trump is profiting off the presidency. One marquis property showing income gain is the Palm Beach resort called the Mar-A-Lago Club, which Trump calls his southern White House and it doubled its initiation fees to $200,000 in January, weeks before Trump took office. The disclosure form includes reported income of $37.2 million for the Florida resort, up sharply from $29.8 million in the prior year’s report.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article156701094.html

Friday News: What's in the water?

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STATE AND LOCAL OFFICIALS CONCERNED ABOUT DISCHARGES OF MYSTERY CHEMICAL GENX: Willmington residents and state officials demanded answers at Thursday night's meeting regarding Chemours, the manufacturing plant that has been discharging toxic chemicals into the Cape Fear River for decades. The information has caused concern of contaminated drinking water in the city of Wilmington and the surrounding area. Chemours is a chemical manufacturing plant upstream of the Cape Fear River. As part of its operations, an unregulated compound called GenX has been released in the river, the source of water for many in the Wilmington area. Officials and locals want more current data immediately, meaning state workers could start collecting water samples from the Cape Fear River as soon as next week.
http://www.wral.com/wilmington-residents-nc-officials-seek-answers-in-toxic-tap-water-meeting/16765625/

Thursday News: Does this answer your question, Donnie?

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TRUMP IS BEING INVESTIGATED FOR POSSIBLE OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE BY SPECIAL COUNSEL: The special counsel overseeing the investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 election is interviewing senior intelligence officials as part of a widening probe that now includes an examination of whether President Donald Trump attempted to obstruct justice, officials said. The move by Special Counsel Robert Mueller to investigate Trump's own conduct marks a major turning point in the nearly year-old FBI investigation, which until recently focused on Russian meddling during the presidential campaign and on whether there was any coordination between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. Investigators have also been looking for any evidence of possible financial crimes among Trump associates, officials said.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article156223734.html

Wednesday News: Cease and desist

REVEREND BARBER CALLS ON GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO STOP PASSING LAWS UNTIL MAPS ARE FIXED: "Currently, we have an unconstitutionally constituted, illegal body leading our state legislature, and it has become evident that they are more entrenched than they ever were," Barber said at a news conference in front of the Legislative Building. "They’re not in office because they won the election. They’re in office, according to the courts, because they cheated, and they used racial methods to cheat. And then, with illegal power, they have passed bills that have hurt all North Carolinians," Barber said. "They used that power – illegal power – to pass the worst voter suppression law that we saw in the nation, and the courts overturned that, too."
http://www.wral.com/naacp-leader-calls-on-lawmakers-to-cease-and-desist-/16760764/

Tuesday News: Keep up the pressure

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GOVERNOR COOPER REMAINS STEADFAST IN DEMAND FOR NEW MAPS AND ELECTIONS: North Carolina Democrats and allies continued to press Republican leaders Monday to redraw legislative maps quickly after the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed last week that nearly 30 districts are illegally racially gerrymandered. Last Monday, the nation’s highest court upheld the lower court decision of three federal judges who originally tossed out the districts in August. The lower court can’t act until formally getting the case back from the Supreme Court, but the judges wrote Friday that they would “act promptly” on when new maps should be drawn and whether a special election is necessary this fall.
http://www.thetimesnews.com/news/20170613/gov-cooper-nc-democrats-push-for-new-maps-quickly

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