BlueNC's blog

Saturday News: It's popcorn time...

PITTENGER IN CROSS HAIRS AS ROVE/BANNON FEUD GETS NASTY: On Thursday morning, GOP strategist Karl Rove lambasted Steve Bannon in the Wall Street Journal for his involvement in Republican primaries. By Thursday afternoon, Bannon’s allies were already plotting their revenge: mobilization against North Carolina Republican Rep. Robert Pittenger — Rove’s pick in that race. Bannon, Donald Trump’s former chief strategist who has returned to helm the hard-right outlet Breitbart, has cast the 2018 primary season as a war against the Republican establishment and is now prominently involved in a series of GOP contests across the country. To date, his emphasis has been on the Senate. Meanwhile, “Bannon now plans to meet with Harris,” said a source close to Bannon, in an interview Thursday after Rove’s op-ed posted. “Bannon has decided to target Pittenger.”
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article180074606.html

Friday News: It's called homicide

JAIL DEATHS ON THE RISE DUE TO PENNY-PINCHING "EFFICIENCY" EFFORTS: In Cleveland County, Archie McNeilly Jr., 40, died from renal failure on May 12, 2015, after spending a week in the jail. His family claims in a lawsuit that detention officers and nurses did little in response to his complaints of weakness and abdominal pain, and were angered at his inability to control his bowel movements. An autopsy showed McNeilly had a large kidney stone and a related infection that shut down his kidneys. McNeilly had been accused of breaking and entering, larceny and possessing stolen property. The deaths in Craven, Cleveland and Stanly counties all happened in jails served by the same health care provider, Southern Health Partners, a company based in Chattanooga, Tenn.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article179679571.html

Thursday News: The equality Governor

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ROY COOPER TAKES STEPS AGAINST TRANSGENDER DISCRIMINATION: Gov. Roy Cooper said Wednesday that transgender people will be able to use public bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity under a proposed settlement of a lawsuit that originated as a challenge to North Carolina’s controversial House Bill 2. Challengers had continued their lawsuit after legislators passed and the Democratic governor signed a law this spring replacing HB2, the law commonly known as the “bathroom bill.” But now the challengers are willing to drop the suit if a federal judge signs off on the proposed order that they submitted Wednesday along with Cooper, his Cabinet secretaries and state Attorney General Josh Stein. The proposed order says that under House Bill 142, “transgender people are not prevented from the use of public facilities in accordance with their gender identity.”
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article179565026.html

Wednesday News: Banana Republic

NC GOP SEEKS TO UNSEAT NUMEROUS JUDGES UNDER THE GUISE OF "REFORM": Within hours of overriding a veto of legislation canceling all judicial primaries in 2018, top Republican lawmakers filed a bill Tuesday that could put every trial court and appellate court judgeship in North Carolina on the ballot next fall. Senate Bill 698, dubbed Increase Voter Accountability of Judges, calls for a statewide referendum during the primary on a proposed constitutional amendment reducing the term of every Supreme Court justice, Court of Appeals judge, Superior Court judge and District Court judge to two years. "The General Assembly is very serious about judicial reform. I hear concerns from my constituents all the time about judges legislating from the bench," Rep. David Lewis, R-Harnett, said in a statement. "Under this amendment, if a voter feels like a judge is acting like a legislator, they can vote to change their judge every two years just like they can vote to change their legislator every two years."
http://www.wral.com/judicial-ballots-could-get-really-long-next-year/17023741/

Tuesday News: Narcissist-In-Chief

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TRUMP'S CLAIM THAT MOST PRESIDENT'S DON'T CALL FAMILIES OF FALLEN SOLDIERS VIGOROUSLY REFUTED: For U.S. presidents, meeting the families of military personnel killed in war is about as wrenching as the presidency gets. President Donald Trump's suggestion Monday that his predecessors fell short in that duty brought a visceral reaction from those who witnessed those grieving encounters. "He's a deranged animal," Alyssa Mastromonaco, a former deputy chief of staff to President Barack Obama, tweeted about Trump. With an expletive, she called Trump's statement in the Rose Garden a lie. Trump said in a news conference he had written letters to the families of four soldiers killed in an Oct. 4 ambush in Niger and planned to call them, crediting himself with taking extra steps in honoring the dead properly. "Most of them didn't make calls," he said of his predecessors. He said it's possible that Obama "did sometimes" but "other presidents did not call."
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/national-politics/article179237026.html

Monday News: Voodoo economics

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TRICKLE-DOWN REDUX: TRUMP ADMIN CLAIMS CORPORATE TAX CUT WILL BOOST FAMILIES: By slashing corporate tax rates, the Trump administration said Monday, the average U.S. household will get an estimated $4,000 more a year. This stunning 5 percent increase is likely to be met with skepticism from tax experts and Democratic lawmakers. Separate studies, including a 2012 Treasury Department analysis, found that the vast majority of any savings would go to investors, making it unlikely to push up wages as much as the administration has argued. The administration removed the 2012 analysis from the Treasury Department's website after releasing its tax framework last month with Republican congressional leaders.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/business/article179062526.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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TILLIS' "TRANSFORMED" NORTH CAROLINA A ROSY FANTASY: Sen. Thom Tillis so desperately wants to make North Carolina a red state he’s taken to wearing rose-tinted glasses. Tillis, in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, discusses tax cuts he helped ram through the General Assembly while he served as House speaker. Readers perusing the piece could be forgiven if they came away thinking the former state House speaker had paved the streets with gold, made public school teachers’ supply closets overflow with resources, given state workers big raises, ended waiting lines at the DMV, slashed costs for university students and made sure everyone had easy and affordable access to health care. While Tillis claimed he held off hordes of special interest lobbyists seeking special tax breaks in his so-called tax reforms, the truth is he worked hand-in-hand with the business lobbyists to deliver a huge corporate tax cut that hasn’t stimulated the economy, nor led to further investment.
http://www.wral.com/editorial-tillis-transformed-north-carolina-is-rosy-fantasy/17005779/

Saturday News: Justice in action

AG JOSH STEIN SUES TRUMP ADMINISTRATION OVER ACA SUBSIDIES: North Carolina’s Attorney General Josh Stein is joining 18 other Democratic attorneys general in a planned federal lawsuit to block President Trump’s move to eliminate Affordable Care Act subsidies. “I am suing President Trump today for his unlawful and reckless decision to stop payments that help hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians afford health insurance,” Stein said. “His act wreaks havoc on the health care system,” Stein said. “It will lead to higher insurance costs for individuals, cause insurance companies to leave the individual health insurance market, increase the number of people without health insurance, and cost taxpayers $194 billion over the next 10 years.”
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/business/article178765306.html

Friday News: Special Master

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JUDGES ASK FOR LIST OF THREE POTENTIAL INDEPENDENT MAP-MAKERS IN GERRYMANDERING CASE: Federal judges on Thursday asked attorneys for North Carolina lawmakers and challengers of election maps adopted last month to agree on a list of three people or organizations who could draw new districts in case they rule against legislators. The order requesting the names by next week came almost an hour after a hearing in which the judges raised many questions about the intent of lawmakers when they adopted new lines for state House and Senate districts last month after being ordered to correct unconstitutional gerrymanders. "In order to avoid delay should the court decide that some or all of the plaintiffs' objections should be sustained, the parties are directed to confer and to submit the names of at least three persons the parties agree are qualified to serve as a special master," the order states.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article178501826.html

Thursday News: Absolutely no shame

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TRUMP COMPLAINS ABOUT HAVING TO HELP STORM-RAVAGED PUERTO RICO: President Donald Trump is criticizing hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico and says the government can't keep federal aid there "forever." Trump criticized the U.S. territory in a series of tweets Thursday. He says there is a "total lack of accountability" and "electric and all infrastructure was disaster before hurricanes." The president adds: "We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!" The House is on track to back Trump's request for billions more in disaster aid, $16 billion to pay flood insurance claims and emergency funding to help the cash-strapped government of Puerto Rico stay afloat. Hurricane Maria struck Sept. 20. It has killed at least 45 people, and about 85 percent of Puerto Rico residents still lack electricity.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/business/article178418766.html

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