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Monday News: April's Fool

TRUMP DECLARES APRIL SEXUAL ASSAULT AWARENESS MONTH: But given Trump’s previous comments about women, including the infamous “Access Hollywood” recording in which he bragged about grabbing women by their gentials, as well as allegations from several women that he sexually assaulted them, many of the president’s critics saw the announcement as tragically ironic, especially given its proximity to April Fools’ Day. The joke was perfectly crystalized by actress and comedian Tina Fey, who was speaking at an ACLU telethon Friday night. “Earlier tonight, in what is surely an April Fools' joke, the president proclaimed that next month will be National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month,” Fey said, per Mic. “So now we know what he gave up for Lent.”
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article142162434.html

Sunday News: LGBTQ Voices

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DISCRIMINATION BY ANY OTHER NAME: I am a woman who happens to be transgender. All I want is to be able to live my life like any other resident. On March 31, on the International Transgender Day of Visibility, I am speaking out against House Bill 142, the so-called HB2 “repeal” that Gov. Roy Cooper signed. I have lived under HB2 for the past year, forced to break the law just to use the restroom in public. HB 142 bans public buildings from having their own policies about bathroom access. That’s still discrimination. Cooper has shown that he is willing to fund his campaign with contributions from the LGBT community, then abandon us when asked to keep his promises. Transgender people deserve better.
http://www.newsobserver.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/article142186849.html

Saturday News: Scammer-in-Chief?

JUDGE RULES TRUMP MUST PAY BACK $25 MILLION TO TRUMP UNIVERSITY VICTIMS: "Over the past seven years, our goal has always has been to help these everyday Americans move forward with their lives," attorney Amber Eck said. The Democratic New York attorney general said the ruling "will provide relief — and hopefully much-needed closure — to the victims of Donald Trump's fraudulent university." The lawsuits alleged that Trump University gave nationwide seminars that were like infomercials, constantly pressuring people to spend more and, in the end, failing to deliver. Political rivals used Trump's depositions and extensive documents filed in the lawsuits to portray him as dishonest and deceitful.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/national-politics/article141892594.html

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-...

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

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

Monday News: Counting the costs of HB2

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AP ESTIMATES 3.76 BILLION IN LOST BUSINESS OVER CONTROVERSIAL LAW: Despite Republican assurances that North Carolina's "bathroom bill" isn't hurting the economy, the law limiting LGBT protections will cost the state more than $3.76 billion in lost business over a dozen years, according to an Associated Press analysis. The AP analysis — compiled through interviews and public records requests — represents the largest reckoning yet of how much the law, passed one year ago, could cost the state. The law excludes gender identity and sexual orientation from statewide antidiscrimination protections, and requires transgender people to use restrooms corresponding to the sex on their birth certificates in many public buildings. Still, AP's tally is likely an underestimation of the law's true costs. The count includes only data obtained from businesses and state or local officials regarding projects that canceled or relocated because of HB2. A business project was counted only if AP determined through public records or interviews that HB2 was why it pulled out. Some projects that left, such as a Lionsgate television production that backed out of plans in Charlotte, weren't included because of a lack of data on their economic impact.
http://bigstory.ap.org/article/fa4528580f3e4a01bb68bcb272f1f0f8/ap-exclusive-bathroom-bill-cost-nort...

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

HEALTHCARE LOSS MORE FODDER FOR TRUMP LEMONADE-MAKING: Trump’s not going to like the attention he’ll get for the next few days, as the commentators he says he doesn’t watch (but he does watch) talk about his “defeat” and how he was repudiated by some in his own party and how he’s shown ignorance of how to make deals in Washington. First up, no doubt, will be another “victory tour,” where Trump will go to rallies to hear the cheers of the crowd as he attacks Democrats for not taking his side. Once he’s gotten his fill of that (though he probably never will) he can huddle with his advisers and set his next priorities. For now, the health care debate is where he wants it — behind him.
http://www.newsobserver.com/opinion/editorials/article140814803.html

Saturday News: Don Quixote rides again

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REPUBLICAN LAWMAKERS WANT 3 YEAR MORATORIUM ON WIND FARMS IN NC: North Carolina Republican lawmakers whose districts include U.S. military bases are again seeking to slow down wind energy development in the state. In their most recent effort, the state Senate Majority Leader and two other state senators are proposing a 3-year moratorium to study the safety risks that wind farms pose to military installations. If it became law, the Military Operations Protection Act of 2017 would stall, and potentially derail, the proposed Timbermill Wind farm in Chowan and Perquimans counties, a project totaling 105 turbines that would extend 600 feet into the sky. The senators could not be reached for comment Friday, but said in a statement that “it’s unfortunate that taxpayer-subsidized incentives to the renewable energy industry are resulting in higher energy costs to N.C. consumers.”
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/business/article140667403.html

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