Duke University hosts town hall on funding of Islamophobic networks

If you're wondering why it's so pervasive, wonder no more:

The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations says in a news release that Dr. Abbas Barzegar is scheduled to speak Saturday at a research-based advocacy town hall hosted by the Duke Graduate & Professional Student Council. The town hall will be held Saturday evening in the Schiciano auditorium of Fitzpatrick building on Duke's campus.

In addition to discussing research on funding of hate groups, Barzegar will highlight CAIR's work on federal-level litigation related to criminal justice and government surveillance.

Just to give you an example of how effective these anti-Muslim propagandists are, CAIR itself has been labeled as a "hate group" by many (even in government) just for defending Islamic citizens who are/were attacked. But the work that Dr. Barzegar and his team have done has exposed something more insidious than just the hateful rhetoric. Much of the funding for these groups has been "laundered" through legitimate mainstream philanthropic funds, which serves to hide the identity of the bigots behind the movement. Since most reading this will not be able to attend the town hall, here are some excerpts from the Report itself:

Saturday News: The discrimination administration

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AG STEIN JOINS LAWSUIT CHALLENGING FAIR HOUSING RULE CHANGE: “Fighting discrimination and ensuring everyone is treated equally is central to building stable, successful communities in North Carolina,” Stein said in a statement Friday. “The existing rule helps ensure equal housing opportunities for everyone – I urge HUD to abandon its proposed weakening of these critical protections.” Disparate impact refers to policies that are formally neutral but in practice adversely affect a protected class, regardless of intent. The proposed HUD rule change drew sharp opposition from several civil rights groups, including the Americans Civil Liberties Union and National Fair Housing Alliance. Among the proposed changes, the burden to prove disparate impact moves from the defendant — such as a landlord or lender — to the plaintiff, often a renter or home-buyer. It also requires the plaintiff to prove the challenged policy is “arbitrary, artificial, and unnecessary.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article236413243.html

Pencil-Whipped: Inspector who falsified hog lagoon tests found guilty

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The ethical quagmire in this story stinks worse than the hog lagoons themselves:

After a State Bureau of Investigation probe, Houston pleaded guilty to 28 counts of falsifying records, a Class 2 misdemeanor. Yesterday Superior Court Judge Henry L. Stevens, IV, sentenced Houston to two consecutive sentences of 30 days in jail, which were suspended. Houston is on supervised probation for 12 months, must pay a $500 fine plus court costs, and complete 50 hours of community service.

The judge also prohibited Houston from sampling lagoons or doing bookkeeping in the swine industry other than for his family farm.

First of all...could you not find somebody else for the job who wasn't also a hog farmer? Forget about his side-job for a moment; the dude was regulating his competition. As to that "side-job," he wasn't moonlighting, he was daylighting. Charging people for his work, while also drawing a salary from taxpayers. About that headline ^ above: when I was in the military, we had to document *everything*. Equipment inspections, weapons usage, disciplinary actions, you name it. "Pencil-whipping" is when somebody fails to (or forgets to) do something, but signs off that it was done to cover their ass. Sad story continues:

Friday News: Obstructionists

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GOP LEADERS REFUSE TO ACT ON COOPER NOMINEES FOR NCUC: The North Carolina Utilities Commission, which sets electricity and other utility rates, barely has enough members to function. The commission has seven seats, but only four of them are filled. That's the minimum for the quorum the group needs to do anything official. In May, Gov. Roy Cooper nominated three people to fill the empty seats, but the General Assembly hasn't confirmed or rejected them. It's not clear why. The Governor's Office said all three are non-controversial, that they've met with legislators and answered questions and that no one has questioned their qualifications or ability to serve fairly. "There is no reason to delay highly qualified people from sitting on the Utilities Commission that regulates the safety and affordability of water and electricity for all North Carolinians," Cooper's office said in a news release.
https://www.wral.com/five-months-and-counting-for-appointments-to-key-state-commission/18704613/

The International Pricing Index Has Some Flaws

The International Pricing Index (IPI) piece included in Speaker Pelosi's Lower Drug Costs Now Act may seem like the perfect solution to bringing down the price of expensive prescription drugs, but there are some real problems with this model. IPI can potentially hurt the most vulnerable and sick patients when they're at their worst, and take away their ability to get access to treatments. The model would base the price the US pays for prescription drugs off of what six other countries pay.

Major charter school organization leaves 17 NC schools in the lurch

Oregon sugar daddy has apparently turned sour:

An organization that helped set up charter schools in North Carolina and Arizona has lost several of its leaders and cut back on its work, leading two N.C. schools to drop the organization’s services. Now, those schools — which represent about 11,000 students — are wondering what to do next.

The turnover at TeamCFA has created uncertainty around the Charlotte-based nonprofit that provides financial, instructional and management support to 17 charter schools in North Carolina and four schools in Arizona.

I first came a cross John Bryan's name a few years ago during a routine exploration of high-dollar campaign contributions to Republican politicians here in NC, and soon stumbled across the reasons why he had contributed so much. But like many billionaires do, he has apparently lost interest in the cause:

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