Daily dose

Saturday News: Cuddling with the Bear

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FORMER TRUMP ADVISOR CARTER PAGE HERO TO RUSSIAN NATIONALISTS: Page also received largely unreported attention from nationalist organizations within Russia that could have invited scrutiny. The Moscow television station Tsargrad covered him before, during and after his speech to the New Economic School in Moscow. Tsargrad is owned by right-wing nationalist Konstantin Malofeev, who was sanctioned by the Obama administration and European allies for allegedly bankrolling Russian nationalists in the Crimean peninsula, which was seized by Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s forces in February 2014. Tsargrad is affiliated with a nationalist think tank called Katehon, also funded by Malofeev. Tsargrad’s editor in chief is Aleksander Dugin, a conservative sage who wrote confidently on Katehon’s website in February 2016 that Trump’s nationalist message would carry him to the U.S. presidency.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article144722809.html

Friday News: Tweeting for war

TRUMP'S THREATS TO NORTH KOREA ON TWITTER COULD LEAD TO MILITARY CLASH: President Donald Trump's tweets are adding fuel to a "vicious cycle" of tensions on the Korean Peninsula, North Korea's vice foreign minister told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview Friday. The official added that if the U.S. shows any sign of "reckless" military aggression, Pyongyang is ready to launch a pre-emptive strike of its own. Trump posted a tweet Tuesday in which he said the North is "looking for trouble" and reiterated his call for more pressure from Beijing, North Korea's economic lifeline, to clamp down on trade and strengthen its enforcement of U.N. sanctions to persuade Pyongyang to denuclearize. Trump has threatened that if Beijing isn't willing to do more to squeeze the North, the U.S. might take the matter into its own hands.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/nation-world/world/article144564214.html

Thursday News: Abe Lincoln was a tyrant?

LARRY PITTMAN PULLS ANOTHER LARRY PITTMAN: A commenter reminded Pittman that the Supreme Court ruling settled the law on gay marriage and that the lawmaker should “get over it.” Pittman’s response: “And if Hitler had won, should the world just get over it? Lincoln was the same sort (of) tyrant, and personally responsible for the deaths of over 800,000 Americans in a war that was unnecessary and unconstitutional.” Another commenter asked Pittman to explain why he believes the Civil War, which resulted in the end of slavery, was “unnecessary.” He did not respond to the question on the Facebook page.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article144216324.html

Wednesday News: Kneeling towards theocracy

GOP LAWMAKERS QUOTE SCRIPTURE IN BILL BANNING SAME-SEX MARRIAGE: A bill filed Tuesday by four N.C. House Republicans would direct state government to defy a U.S. Supreme Court ruling and restore the state constitution’s ban on same-sex marriage. The bill quotes the Christian Bible and says the ruling “exceeds the authority of the court relative to the decree of Almighty God that ‘a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh’ (Genesis 2:24, ESV) and abrogates the clear meaning and understanding of marriage in all societies throughout prior history.” The bill would order state government to return to the constitutional amendment known as Amendment One, which was approved in a 2012 voter referendum. It also says that same-sex marriages performed in other states wouldn’t be recognized in North Carolina.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article144006904.html

Tuesday News: About those hogs...

TWO NC RIVERS ON TOP 10 MOST ENDANGERED LIST THANKS TO CAFOS: Two North Carolina rivers were ranked among the top 10 most endangered rivers in the country for the second year in a row when this year's study was released early Tuesday morning. American Rivers ranked the Neuse and Cape Fear rivers the No. 7 most endangered because of the number of hog and chicken farms located in the rivers' flood plains. Roughly 4 million North Carolinians get their drinking water from the rivers. The potential for damage was seen during Hurricane Matthew when more than 140 swine and poultry barns and a dozen open pits holding hog waste flooded.
http://www.wral.com/animal-farms-put-neuse-cape-fear-rivers-among-10-most-endangered/16638077/

Monday News: The GOP's lust for power

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REPUBLICAN LEADERS MAKE ANOTHER GRAB FOR ELECTION BOARDS: County elections boards would go from three to four members, evenly split between the parties, and county boards would pick their own chairmen or chairwomen, although Republicans would be chairs in even-numbered election years — in other words, the most important election years. The bill in the House as drawn by Republicans was hastily done and Democrats rightly complained they didn’t get much of a look at it until the last minute. The substance of the bill is just wrong, and the haste with which Republicans leaders wanted to move it makes it all the more suspect.
http://www.newsobserver.com/opinion/editorials/article143624584.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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WAS SYRIA ATTACK PUBLIC RELATIONS MOVE, OR DANGEROUS ESCALATION? On the surface, Russia appeared to be willing to treat the attack as an isolated incident, especially since the U.S. has made sure no Russians would be hurt. That’s easier today than forgiving Turkey for shooting down a Russian warplane in 2015. The propaganda line on Friday’s strike is that Russia didn’t move in to protect Shayrat because Russian servicemen weren’t at risk there. The Assad regime’s military capability hasn’t been greatly affected, either. And yet apart from the predictable anti-American rhetoric and denials that Assad had used chemical weapons, Friday’s statement from the Russian foreign ministry contains one serious bit of new information. It says Russia has suspended the 2015 memorandum of understanding with the U.S. on air safety in Syria.
http://www.newsobserver.com/opinion/op-ed/article143532624.html

Saturday News: Oh, the irony

NRA MUSEUM EMPLOYEE ACCIDENTALLY SHOOTS HIMSELF IN THE LEG: Fairfax County, Virginia, police announced Friday that a 46-year-old man has suffered a minor injury and is undergoing medical treatment after he accidentally shot himself with a pistol at the headquarters of the National Rifle Association. In its daily recap of incidents and crimes on Friday, the police department reported the accidental discharge took place at around 3:30 p.m. in the National Firearms Museum, which is based in the NRA’s Fairfax, Virginia, headquarters. According to police, the man, an employee, was participating in firearms training at the shooting range located in the museum when he attempted to holster his pistol.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/nation-world/national/article143477264.html

Friday News: Cry havoc, and let slip the poll-reversing distraction

TRUMP LAUNCHES CRUISE MISSILE ATTACK ON SYRIAN AIRBASE: The US has carried out a missile strike against a Syrian air base in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack on a rebel-held town. Fifty-nine Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired from two US Navy ships in the Mediterranean. At least six people are reported to have been killed. It is the first direct US military action against forces commanded by Syria's president. The Kremlin, which backs Bashar al-Assad, has condemned the strike. It comes just days after dozens of civilians, including many children, died in the suspected nerve gas attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province.
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39523654

Thursday News: The stink of corruption

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MASSIVE POLITICAL DONATIONS SHIELD HOG FARMERS FROM LAWSUITS: Under the bill, property owners would most likely only be able to collect a $7,000 cap in damages over a three-year period, and the bill would apply to any lawsuit pending at the time it goes into effect. There are currently twenty-six pending federal lawsuits filled against Murphy-Brown, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods. As we reported last week, the bill's sponsors, including Representative Jimmy Dixon, R-Wayne and Duplin, have gotten serious contributions from the pork industry over the years. According to campaign finance records, Dixon has received more than $115,000 in contributions from Big Pork over the course of his career, including $36,250 from donors associated with Murphy-Brown, the company facing more than two dozen federal lawsuits that the bill in question would essentially nullify.
http://www.indyweek.com/news/archives/2017/04/05/big-pork-protection-bill-clears-judiciary-committee...

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